Pickens' Perspective: Prep baseball rising in 2011
If you're familiar with the spring season at Fairfield Prep, you know that its signature sport is lacrosse. This year is no different; the Jesuits are undefeated in lax.
But after this week, their baseball team deserves some love as well.
Prep went on the road on Monday and beat ND-West Haven, who entered the game with just one loss. It was the first time Prep had beaten ND in Rudy Mauritz's six years as Jesuits' head coach.
The Jesuits followed that victory up in arguably more impressive fashion on Wednesday in its game with 5-1 Xavier. Prep spotted the Falcons four runs in the first two innings, and trailed 5-1 entering its half of the fifth. Prep rallied, generating two, three-run innings in the last three innings, taking home a 7-6 win at Alumni Diamond.
Last June, Prep lost 11-- read -- 11 baseball players to graduation, four of whom, are playing college baseball. This was not supposed to be the Jesuits dominant year.
This sentiment had been confirmed for the first five games, as Prep started the year 2-3.
But it seems as though the Jesuits are coming around.
They're coming around because of performances by players like Anthony Redamonti, who was 4 for 8 in the two-games, including a game-tying home run in the seventh inning against Xavier. Redamonti backed up his offense with strong pitching, going 6-plus and earning a win against ND.
"It's all heart," Redamonti said of Prep's team. "It's great."
They're coming around because of players like pitcher Miles Turner, who earned a win and a save this week. Turner threw just six pitches to earn the save against the Green Knights, and threw five innings to earn the win against the Falcons.
"I was just trying to do whatever my team needed me to do," Turner said.
Prep needed Turner to be at his best against Xavier, when he entered the game with the score 4-0 in the third inning and a man on first base. Turner induced a double play on his first pitch, and allowed just two earned runs in six innings.
"I had a lot of confidence in him," Mauritz said. "He has a lot of mental toughness."
Prep is now 4-3, and 2-0 in the Quinnipiac Division, with a road victory over ND, and a victory over Xavier, who had its last nine Quinnipiac division games.
"We hope," Mauritz said when asked whether or not the two wins were a spring board. "But we can't get caught looking too far ahead."
What is more important, is Prep has the belief that it can win any game it plays. No matter who the opponent or what the deficit is, it's never out of any game.
And maybe that belief will turn Prep from a lax school, to a lax AND baseball school.