JV Baseball: JV Peglegs Hitting it Out of the Park
Coming off an undefeated season, the JV Peglegs are looking to continue their dominance and further the Stuyvesant baseball agenda.
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Stuyvesant boys’ varsity baseball team has built a name for itself over the past few years, elevating itself from a middling team to a serious contender. This rise was demonstrated in last year’s historic playoff run, where the Peglegs became the first specialized high school to make it to the semifinals. A large part of this excellence stems from a distinguished JV program that develops younger players to prepare them for their coming years on the varsity team. Coming off an undefeated season, Stuyvesant’s boys’ JV baseball team, the Peglegs, is looking to continue their dominance and further the Stuyvesant baseball agenda.
The Peglegs are led by a strong sophomore core looking to build on their success from last year. “Our strongest aspect is probably pitching,” sophomore and captain William Rickens said. “Four out of five sophomores can pitch, and several freshmen can as well.” This pitching staff is led by Rickens himself, who was a key component of last year’s rotation. In his freshman year, Rickens pitched 10 innings and recorded 21 strikeouts, while allowing just one hit and no earned runs. Rickens is joined on the mound by sophomores Christopher Louie, Jason Chao, and Jasper Yu-Dawidowicz, who combined for seven innings last year while allowing zero runs. Chao is equally confident in the team’s pitching depth. He said, “Almost every player is a pitcher.” The team is confident in all of their pitchers, and Chao is confident in their ability to succeed throughout the season.
While pitching might be ample for the Peglegs, the team has struggled with hitting, especially at the beginning of the season. “Because we can’t have practices and games outside, our ability to get swings in, especially against live pitching, is limited,” Rickens said. Despite this, the returning players have proved their ability to make an impact on the offensive side of the ball. Sophomore shortstop Kerick Espino posted a whopping 0.667 on-base percentage last year, with more walks than at-bats. Yu-Dawidowicz batted 0.364 in his 22 at-bats, including two doubles and two triples. Louie had an impressive season on the basepaths, swiping seven bags and scoring 12 runs for the team. Though they may need time to develop their hitting, the Peglegs have the potential to become a force to be reckoned with when they hit their stride.
Perhaps most importantly in the coming season, the Peglegs are putting in the work to improve their athleticism. In the offseason, many of the players work out at gyms to build strength and endurance. This added muscle is sure to benefit the team on both sides of the ball, and this dedication in the offseason shows the players’ commitment to success. As soon as the spring season started, the Peglegs jumped into practice. “The team has been meeting several times a week to play and stay sharp,” Rickens said. These practices include hitting soft toss and live pitching in batting cages, as well as infield work to improve the team’s defense. Defense is one of the team’s make-or-break aspects, as none of its pitchers are strikeout-heavy arms. The team relies on forcing consistent outs on balls hit in play, and early practices have shown that the defense has promise already.
The Peglegs are shaping up to be a forceful team to start the 2023 season. Their hitting has high potential once adjusted to live pitching. The team’s pitching staff is elite and backed up by consistent defense. “We went undefeated last year, and I hope we repeat. This team is solid, and I think we stand a good chance,” Rickens said. Not only do they stand a chance, but if the Peglegs continue on their current trajectory, the team is shaping up for another stellar season.