James Radvany came into the spring expecting that his main duties for the Princeton Day School baseball team would center on playing first base and providing punch in the middle of the lineup.
But when mound ace Cole McManimon was injured in the season opener and sidelined for all of April, Radvany’s portfolio changed as he became the team’s workhorse starting pitcher.
Befitting his stature as a team quad-captain, Radvany willingly assumed the additional responsibility.
“It has been tough, I have had to throw a lot of innings this year,” said junior Radvany.
“My arm wasn’t really ready for that but I have done the best I could and I have labored on.”
Last Wednesday, Radvany put in some hard labor on the mound as he started and went four innings in a 9-1 loss to Hamilton in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today but they are a good team,” said Radvany, who gave up seven runs in the first two innings but only one after that.
“They grind out at-bats, they are all good baseball players at the front of their lineup. I had some two-strike counts but they had some good swings. I started to get the ball down a little bit, I left it up in the first two innings. I had some good plays behind me in the last two innings so that helped out.”
After struggling at the plate earlier in the spring, Radvany has been swinging the bat better in recent weeks. He had a single and scored the only run in the loss to Hamilton.
“I started to turn it around pretty well; I have had three or four doubles in the last few games,” said Radvany, who has committed to attend Villanova University and play for its baseball program.
“I have had a lot more hits. I am just trying to stay through the middle. I have had to change my approach a little but I think it is starting to turn around at the right time and that was what I was hoping for.”
While things haven’t turned out this spring as PDS had hoped with the Panthers dropping to 4-10 after losing 2-1 to Wardlaw-Hartridge on Thursday in the opening round of the state Prep B tourney, Radvany and his teammates are staying upbeat.
“Losing Cole in the first game was tough but we have hung in there,” said Radvany.
“We only have one senior but the freshmen have given a lot more than we thought. They have all been great, they have all been better than we expected. It is what you hope for; we have hope for next year.”