Article and Photography by Alice Mary Herden
Lyndon Coleman, Head baseball coach for PHSC (Pasco - Hernando State College) has until April 26 to fine tune player placement as well as game plays both offensively and defensively before the Region VIII District Championship against ASA College in Miami Gardens.
“Baseball season is a process, and we are starting to play better, cleaner baseball,” Assistant Coach Christopher Holke said. “We are in every game, and I think that is a good sign.”
Two games have been canceled: March 19 with Florida Southern College and March 21 with Southeastern University. Both away games in Lakeland are in talks for rescheduling.
Bobcats are currently on a five-game winning streak, after the second game victory against Broward College on March 16 and then dominating the Spartans from University of Tampa (JV) on March 17 at the Spartan’s home field. The Spartans had another attempt to defeat the Bobcats, but PHSC staunchly held their ground for another 9-1 win. On March 22, PHSC defeated IMG Academy away from home.
“I think we are going to peak at the right time, we have enough quality arms on the mound to compete depth-wise,” Holke said. “We make all the plays, and we get the quality hits with runners in scoring position, I think we will be in a good place to hopefully compete for that Region VIII Championship, that is obviously the goal here and here on out.”
The Bobcats were revved up for a trip to Clearwater to play against Phillies Minor League Rookies at Carpenter Complex on March 25, but unfortunately, that game was canceled.
“It’s pretty exciting, any time we have a chance to play an affiliated organization with major league baseball, it’s a great opportunity for our players,” Holke said prior to the game’s cancellation. “It will give them a good gauge of where they are at and I think it will be a lot of fun.”
“I think it’s exciting and a good challenge. It gives us a chance to play somebody at the major league level where we would all like to be at some point,” Sophomore Brayden Lyman said. “It gives us a chance to judge ourselves against them and to see where we need to improve in order to get where we want to be.”
“Every time I go on the baseball field I try to learn something new,” Sophomore Nick Alessi said. “It's an opportunity to go the major league, experience and see what they do and how they handle their pregame routine, how they handle themselves,” Alessi added.
Springstead graduate Joey Delgatto is one of PHSC’s 9 designated pitchers. Delgatto remarked, “It’s always good to look at someone that is better than you. You can always learn from their mechanics and just how to be smoother on the mound,” Delgatto said. “If I am pitching against them, obviously it’s a little intimidating, but you gotta block that out and be competitive with anyone you face.”
It turns out the game was canceled because all of the pitchers had injuries. Hopefully, the opportunity will come again soon.
The Lady Bobcats are currently at 16 wins and 16 losses. Playing against Division I talent can have their challenges, but these ladies are doing what it takes to prepare themselves to qualify for the Regional Tournament.
The March 16th games against South Florida State College were postponed and makeups are planned sometime in April.
On Saturday, March 23 a doubleheader at home against ASA College (Miami) resulted in wins for the Bobcats: Game 1 PHSC 10 - ASA 2, Game 2 PHSC 10 - ASA 5.
Upcoming games: Two more doubleheaders are left for the Bobcats as they travel south.
Friday, March 29 in Hialeah, FL against ASA College (Miami) beginning at 5 pm.
Saturday, March 30 at Palm Beach State College. First game starts at 1 pm.
“This is one of the better groups I’ve had over the years,” head coach Thomas Ryan said. “They kept battling all through the year, and they didn’t quit. Right now we are in a position to qualify for Regionals, which was the end goal.”