The winning formula for the Hawks this season was stellar pitching. The Hawks led the Northern California Conferences in shutouts with six and finished with the third ranked team ERA at 2.56. Freshman pitcher Austin Ales led CRC’s pitching staff, finishing fifth in the state with a 1.00 ERA and sixth in the state–first in the Big 8–in strikeouts with 80.
But it wasn’t just the pitching that stepped up this year, the hitting and baserunning made huge contributions as well. Sophomore infielder Jake Schu finished 16th in the Big 8 with a .315 batting average, and one spot behind him was sophomore shortstop Josh Silver who finished with a .312 batting average.
“We started off slow and didn’t have much of an identity,” Schu said. “But as we got going, we formed a team identity and a hunger to win.”
Sophomore outfielder Colby Brenner finished the season with 22 stolen bases, good enough for first in the Big 8 and fourth in state.
While the season may be over, the playoffs are just beginning for the Hawks who want to stay in the groove they’ve been in.
“We are hot right now, and this is the best time to go into the playoffs,” Schu said.
Freshman infielder Bryan Case said he believes the team is ready to make some noise in the playoffs.
“Our defense is playing well and our young pitching is doing great,” he said. “We are getting timely hitting from guys we haven’t depended on before. We have set ourselves up to make a deep run into the playoffs.”
The Hawks will take on College of the Sequoias in a best-of-three series May 5 and 6.
The team is headed into the playoffs with a renewed confidence and a new motto.
“We play to win every game, one game at a time,” Schu said. “That’s the same motto we will take with us into the playoffs.”