April 13, 2016

Suffering First Loss of Spring After Going 4-0, Hun Baseball Needs More Consistent Hitting


BIG GAME JAMES: Hun School baseball player James Werosta takes a cut in recent action. Senior star Werosta’s hitting and pitching, which included throwing a no-hitter against Lawrenceville in the season opener, has helped Hun produce a 4-2 start. The Raiders play at Princeton Day School on April 13, at Pennington on April 14, and at Steinert on April 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In starting 4-0 this spring, the Hun School baseball team applied the time-honored formula of good pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting.

Playing in its fifth game of the season, Hun displayed some good pitching and made some flashy defensive plays, but didn’t have the hitting as it fell 3-1 to suffer its first defeat.

“This game is over so what do we learn from it and what we learned is that we have to have a better approach at the plate,” said Hun head coach Bill McQuade.

“We have scored runs but we haven’t hit consistently throughout the lineup; different people have done the job for us at different times, and what we have to work on — and we told them this — is consistency. We need to be shortening up the swing and getting the ball into play. Tell me the last high school game you saw when a team didn’t hit a ground ball. I have been coaching for many years, going on 46, and I have never seen a team not have one ground ball like we did today.”

Hun got some good work on the mound in the loss to Peddie as starter Rob Huselid gave up just four hits and a run as he lasted until the bottom of the sixth and reliever Blake Brown looked sharp coming on in the frame, yielding no hits and striking out one.

“He shows up today and goes out there and does a great job,” said McQuade of Huselid, who had been away the previous two days on a college trip.

“He did a great job against Perkiomen (a 3-1 win on April 1), which is a great ball club. You talk about upside. Blake has a little fire in his belly that I love. He did his job and we just made a mistake on a grounder.”

The team’s consistent starting pitching has been a big upside so far this spring for the Raiders.

“James Werosta showed it last year so he has just continued where he left off,” said McQuade, noting that Werosta hurled a no-hitter in the season opener.

“Huselid is a huge pump up. Mike Pedota fits in, he was the best JV pitcher we had last year. He gets on the mound and he can get the job done.”

Hun has also been getting it done defensively. “Our outfield has done a great job,” asserted McQuade. “Luke Apuzzi is an unbelievable center fielder, he’s made those great catches. He made some here today and the other day he made another diving catch. He is incredible.”

Looking ahead, the famously upbeat McQuade believes his team can do some great things this spring.

“I am always optimistic but I am always nervous before any game too because you always think what might happen,” said McQuade, whose team fell 11-8 to St. Augustine on Monday and will look to get back on the winning track as it plays at Princeton Day School on April 13, at Pennington on April 14, and at Steinert on April 16.

“We talked to the kids yesterday at practice, saying that being 4-0 means nothing. It was what you do the next day and baseball is the funniest game. In baseball, you can go into a slump with one bad pitch that you swing at and your mind takes over. You have got to be able to get it out of your mind and flush it and focus on the next pitch and think what is my job, what am I going to do. You have got to clear your head.”