Fenwick High School head baseball coach Dave Hogan has seen it all during his 36 years with the Friars.
Well, almost everything.
After a promising 6-3 start this spring, including a 3-3 road trip to Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, the Friars returned home and unfortunately embarked on a 10-game losing streak.
That’s the worst stretch of results during Hogan’s IHSBCA Hall of Fame career.
“It was contagious, contagiously bad. We couldn’t overcome walks and errors,” Hogan said about the losing streak. “I had never seen anything like it. It was very frustrating because this team has talent.”
Since the losing skid, the Friars (11-16) have recovered nicely with five wins in seven games.
“We’re playing baseball again,” Hogan said. “We’re pitching, hitting and fielding the ball better. We tweaked a few things and brought some younger kids up. I think it’s coming together for us.”
Fenwick routed visiting DePaul Prep 10-1 Monday at Priory Park. Senior pitcher Jay Militello earned the win with 10 strikeouts in six innings.
Sophomore first baseman Jack Grace belted a two-run homer and shortstop Anthony Cavalieri had two triples and three RBIs. Sherman Martin contributed two hits and three RBIs.
“I was using a 34-ounce bat which was my first time using it,” Grace said about his home run. “It was a 1-2 count and (the pitcher) threw me a curve ball, so I choked up on the bat and put a pretty good swing on it.”
At a minimum, Fenwick could be classified as a sleeper in the playoffs. With their improved play and talent, the Friars are capable of even more.
“Our pitchers are throwing strikes which is nice and we’re also hitting better,” Fenwick outfielder Jack Hendricks said. “Even during the losing streak, we tried to remain confident and just focus on playing our game.”
Militello (4-3) is a hard-throwing right-hander with 51 strikeouts and a 2.40 earned run average.
Justin Sosa is another solid pitcher with a 4-1 record and 2.27 ERA.
“We have a lot of depth in our pitching, especially in our younger guys,” Militello said. “We just have to keep throwing strikes and not give up any walks. We all need to make plays in the field, too.”
Offensively, center fielder Casey O’Laughlin is hitting .380 with a home run and 23 RBIs and Hendricks has a .312 average with a homer. Cavalieri has also hit well with a .342 average and 13 RBIs.
“We need to keep stringing some wins together,” Cavalieri said. “We need to play as a team and eliminate mistakes.”
Fenwick closes out the regular season with a doubleheader against Bishop McNamara on Saturday, May 14 (11 a.m.) and a game against Jones on Friday, May 20 (4:30 p.m.). All three games are at Priory Park.
-Marty Farmer contributed to this story