After an up and down ride through a very tough season, 49er baseball is over.
It all started out with a ugly and disappointing record of 1-11 following a ten game losing steak to start the season.
Things got better once league started, as they were 3-1 at the end of the first week. It would be bumpy the rest of the way in a crazy Bay Valley Conference. At one point the 49ers were one game out of first, but then lost three straight and were never seen again.
“We could’ve easily finished in the top three of the league if we didn’t blow some key games,” said relief pitcher A.J. Holland. “We won the games we shouldn’t of and lost games we should of won. It was a really weird season.”
The 49ers would end up with a 12-29 record overall and a 8-16 record in league.
Leading the way was catcher Kelly Buber who was superman for the 49ers, leading most offensive categories. With an .382 batting average and 38 RBIs, he was elected to the second Team All-Bay Valley Conference team.
“Kelly is a stud; not only is he a vocal leader, he leads by example,” said freshman third baseman Jake Howard. “He likes everyone and is a great guy. He will be a very successful person.”
Others doing some damage were Neil Logue, who started out rusty then gained some confidence finishing with a .322 average with 29 RBIs, and freshman outfielder Nick Hanson was huge, batting .316 with 21 RBIs and four home runs.
After an injury to freshman right-hander Ryan Zaft that would sideline him for the rest of the season, the 49ers were not sure who was going to take his place as the ace of the pitching staff. It was answered quickly by freshman Steve Briggs who was dominating in almost every game he pitched. Briggs wound up having a 2.65 ERA with 90 innings pitched. Holland was the key man out of the bullpen where he finished with five saves and three wins.
“We were really young in all positions and took a while to gel as a team. Once we gelled we were awesome. I think they will be good next year, best wishes to them,” said Logue who will be leaving after this semester, possibly signing with a pro team.
Players to look out for next season include Curtis Hudson, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. He is a question though with pro teams trying to grab him.
Other players to keep an eye out for include Zaft, who could have won ten games this year if he hadn’t injured his back. Nick Hanson who was solid outfielder and hitter all year long could end up being the next Buber.