Sequoia baseball freshman manager Mike Doyle could not have written a better pre-season.
Through Doyle’s first six games at the helm, the Ravens have set an unbeaten 6-0 record. Not that Doyle expects the stretch to last with the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division game opening on Tuesday.
Prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sequoia – under former manager Corey Uhalde – owned an impressive 4-1 record. The only team in the Ocean Division that did better was Half Moon Bay at 5-0-1. Tuesday’s PAL opener sees Half Moon Bay travel to Sequoia for a planned pitch at
“We are starting league games [Tuesday] against a very good Half Moon Bay team, ”said Doyle. “One of the things with our division this year … we have two of the best teams in PAL, with Half Moon Bay and MA in our division. I expect them both to be very, very good again this year. ”
But Sequoia has the air of a destiny team. Of the top 10 seniors, many have played together since before their 15-year-old Colt League season with a summer team coached by Doyle.
“These kids – and there is a special group of kids – they have been playing together for many years, prior to when they came to Sequoia,” Doyle said. “They’ve been playing travel ball together … for the last six or seven years. So they know each other very well. And that has really made our jobs easier for the coaching staff. ”
If they were not believers on their way into Saturday’s final non-league setting, they should be now.
The Ravens won a fun 9-3 at Aragon and scored all nine of their races in the first half. The Sequoia lineup – batting. 297 as a team this season – not just hit around, each of the first nine balls reached the base. Senior No. 2 hitter Max McClellan, in his second record appearance of the round, made the first out, and this with a sacrificial fly to score the ninth run of the frame.
Needless to say, the Sequoia excavation was buzzing with life.
“It certainly was,” Doyle said. “It was great energy”
The round started with three straight trips to seniors Kai Holm, McClellan and Ben Singler. Cleanup hitter JP Boyle then fired a two-run double down the right field line. And Dillon Goetz followed with a two-run double to make it 4-0.
Rocky Knuedler then produced the first of four straight Ravens singles, with Rene Pena, Anton Berljafa and Sammy Haslam following to reverse the slogan. Holm, in his second record appearance of the round, went again. Then McClellan produced a sacrificial fly, and Singler reached an error.
Sequoia continued to send 13 strokes to the record in the round.
“Getting back to the top of the lineup without knocking out … you just don’t see very much,” Doyle said. “It’s hard to do that, even if you have batting practice.”
Goetz continued to earn the victory on the mound. The junior rider allowed three races on five hits through 4 2/3 laps. But when he took the pile at the bottom of the first, confident owner of a 9-0 lead, he quickly gave over a solo home run to Aragon leadership officer Jace Jeremiah.
Doyle’s immediate fear was that on Saturday afternoon, Aragon would become a hit paradise with skewed numbers flying back and forth all day.
“At that point, I might think it’s going to be one of those games,” Doyle said. “But after that, Dillon closed the door and locked himself inside.”
The victory marked Goetz’s third straight. He came from an April 10 win over Burlingame, where he went 3 for 4 on the plate while allowing three runs (one earned) on one hit and four going through five innings in Sequoia’s 9-6 win.
On the plate, Goetz Sequoia fits with a 471 batting average. He is one of five starters hitting .300 or higher.
Singles, which is always a threat to power, hit right at .300 and go 3 for 10 with three singles in the young season. Doyle considers this a bit of a decline, at least by Singler’s standards. The senior owns a .442 career average for batting and launched five home races as a sophomore in 2019.
“The only thing you know about people like Ben is that he’s going to hit,” Doyle said. “Usually, the better the pitcher, the better Ben hits.”