JV Baseball: The Peglegs are Shining on the Diamond

The JV Peglegs are putting together a behemoth of a season on both sides of the mound.

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By Julia Lee

After experiencing a temporary slump over quarantine, Stuyvesant’s sports community has seen incredible growth this year, especially from the school’s junior varsity teams. Stuyvesant’s JV baseball team, the Peglegs, are currently 3-0 and have displayed great potential so far. Even an undefeated record doesn’t do the Peglegs justice—in two of their wins, they’ve scored 14 and 15 runs while holding the opposing team to less than three. Their dominance is almost hard to believe if you can’t see the numbers—so here are some of them.

One of the most consistent and exceptional points in the Peglegs’s defense has been the pitching of starting sophomore Mantas Kempinas. In the Peglegs’s home game on April 26 against George Washington High School, Kempinas struck out a whopping 15 batters through the seven innings, allowing just one walk. He pitched a near perfect game, with only one offensive player making it past first base. Sophomore catcher Adrian Veto said, “We have an incredible pitching staff headlined by Kempinas. Our relievers have also been astounding, and between them, we’ve only allowed a few hits through three games.” While a pitching performance like this would be outstanding for anyone else, it’s almost just another Tuesday for Kempinas and sophomore backup pitcher Charles Merkel. In the team’s two mercy rule wins, which were shortened to five innings, Merkel struck out 11 batters in five innings, allowing just two earned runs over that span.

A quick look at earned runs (runs in which the offensive team is not aided by any defensive error) shows the Peglegs’s pitching dominance. Earned Run Average (ERA) is a statistic that demonstrates the strength of a pitching performance, and any value below 3.00 is extraordinary. Through five innings pitched, Merkel has maintained a stellar 2.80 ERA with 11 strikeouts. Even more unbelievably, Kempinas, through double the innings, has pitched an unbroken 0.00 ERA. Over his 10 innings, Kempinas struck out 21 batters and allowed exactly zero earned runs.

Kempinas said, “We have good depth in our pitching rotation and a very solid defense to support our pitchers. We’re really starting to come together as a team.” The Peglegs’s depth is indeed no joke. Freshman Victor Kamrowski, who will soon return from injury, has also had a perfect 0.00 ERA in the limited pitching he’s done so far, throwing a three-batters-three-outs inning. Additionally, in a scrimmage against Bard+Nest’s varsity team, the Peglegs played six different pitchers through the six innings and pitched a no-hitter.

But defense is only half of the game. On the other side of the field, the Peglegs’ batters have been having a monster season of their own. Catcher Adrian Veto in particular has been putting numbers on the statsheet that seem to not even make sense—he’s scored five runs and three RBIs (Runs batted in with team) in just six at bats. This means that, on average, Veto was responsible for over one run every time he stepped up to the plate. In the same game in which Kempinas struck out 15 batters, Veto scored a run and an RBI to secure the closest game of the season, while making a defensive play to turn the only George Washington batter to make it past first base into an out.

There isn’t any better display of the Peglegs’ offense from that game than their execution of the notorious ‘suicide squeeze’ in the fifth inning, a play in which sophomore Lucas McGarvey bunted the ball for contact, giving Veto just enough time to slide home before the ball was recovered.

The team’s cohesion and talent has led to some incredible scoring runs. In the first inning of the games against Graphics Campus and AP Randolph, the Peglegs scored eight and nine runs, respectively, which both led to shortened mercy-rule games. Veto said, “The bats have shown up to support everything. Everyone has been able to take walks to get on base and we’ve had great clutch hitting to bring runners in. We’ve already had three homers this season (C Winer, V Kamrowski, L McGarvey) and many extra base hits, so the power is clearly there.”

Indeed, the hitters have been posting metrics just as good as the pitchers so far. In terms of OPS, a stat that represents the summation of slugging, which weights the amount of bases per hit, and On Base Percentage, which factors in walks as well, the hitters are out of the ballpark. Veto posts a 1.65 OPS, McGarvey 1.28, and Kamrowski 1.25. As a fun fact, all three of these are higher than Babe Ruth’s record setting all time OPS!

The JV Peglegs are certainly one of the most exciting teams to look out for this Spring. With their combination of practice and talent, they’ve been a figurative curveball thrown at 3000 rotations per minute to the rest of the league. As the season progresses, watch this curveball turn into a home run!