Xavieran baseball’s coach wants the squad to dial it back a bit.
The Clippers will come into the Catholic High School Athletic Association intersectional tournament as the No. 4 seed after dropping back-to-back games in the seeding round last week. Now players appear anxious not to repeat last season’s tournament exit — but they need to stop swinging for the fences and instead play a game of inches, their coach said.
“I think we’re trying to swing for the home run instead of just trying to get the base hit,” coach Frank Del George. “We’re just not getting those timely hits. We’ve had bases loaded, no outs and only scored one. It’s really the timely hitting that’s been really hurting us.”
The Clippers (15–5) boast an experienced core of players this season, and the team hopes to use that experience to its advantage against some of the league’s top squads. Seniors Xavier Vargas, Phoenix Hernandez, and Danny Ryan have all stepped up in key moments throughout the season, and Del George is counting on the trio to settle into a leadership role throughout the playoffs.
If they can find a spark — either in the field or at the plate — the rest of the team will follow suit.
“They know they’ve got to play well,” Del George said. “We’ve been playing good defense. It’s really our offense we need to step up, which I’m very surprised about. We have a pretty good lineup as far as hitting is concerned.”
Del George is confident in his team, and the Clippers have certainly moved past last week’s losses. They aren’t dwelling on the miscues — instead they’re using them to fuel a renewed sense of determination, looking to capture their first city title since 2014.
The Clippers boast a handful of big-time victories this season and even more expectations when it comes to their postseason hopes.
It doesn’t get any easier, but Xaverian isn’t backing down from the challenge. In fact, the Clippers are ready to swing at it — just not too aggressively.
“We talk about that every game, trying to get them fired up,” Del George said. “In baseball you really have to be super comfortable in those clutch situations. We try to keep them as calm as possible.”