The Black Hawk men’s baseball team is off to a hot start this season, having won nine of their first eleven contests. They will face McHenry County College for a double header this Sunday, while riding a five-game winning streak.
The Braves had the chance to showcase their talent out east, as they started their season by making a trip to Myrtle Beach South Carolina, where they took four out of six games.
Coach Chavera’s team has had the perfect balance of offense and pitching so far on the early season. Offensively the Braves are averaging just a bit more than seven runs per game. Guys like sophomore Anthony Smith, and freshman Pedro Alfonseca both have their averages sitting at over .400 from the dish to start the year.
Sophomore infielder Gama Martinez, has also been productive with the bat, leading the team with 12-RBI and 2 homeruns. The teams on base percentage is a whopping .435, while the team batting average is not much worse at .307.
The pitching staff is carrying their weight as well, combining for a team ERA of just 1.75 to this point. The ace of the staff so far has been Zach Erdman, a sophomore righty from St. Laurence, Illinois. Erdman has allowed just 2 earned runs during 17 innings of work. He has also thrown two complete games, as his record sits at 3-0.
Freshman flamethrower Devin Wessels has struck out 18 batters in just 11 innings of work. Wessels was one of the hardest throwing high school pitchers in the state of Illinois last season for United Township High School.
The Braves were scheduled to host Oakton Community College for two games on March 26th, but that meeting was canceled. A makeup date has yet to be determined.
The softball team is not off to quite the same start as the Black Hawk baseball team, as they have struggled out of the gate winning just one of their first eight games.
The lady Braves were not able to salvage a victory until their seventh game of the season, which was the first game of double header in which they split with Augustana College.
Freshmen pitcher/infielder Abby Young has been asked to do a lot of work so far, this season. While she is off to a hot start at the dish, hitting .421 so far, it has not necessarily translated to the mound. Young has allowed 37 runs in just 22 innings of work, which leaves her ERA 6.68. The pitching staff seems to be shorthanded, as the only other person to pitch has been Caylla Townsley, and she too has an ERA greater than 5 to start the year.
A slow start may not have been unpredictable for this group that has nine freshmen and only one sophomore listed in the stat book all season long. A learning curve is inevitable for all those freshmen as they are looking to become accustomed to playing at the next level.