Hampton baseball team doing it with defense early
Although not every facet of the Hampton baseball team has shown its full potential early on, the Talbots have managed to earn some important wins. Winning efforts against Class AAAA teams like North Allegheny, 2-1, and North Hills, 5-3, set the team up for its first section win of the season.
A 4-3 triumph over Valley was encouraging for Hampton and coach Matt Torrence, and although the coach felt his squad left far too many runners on base, he'll take the win and move forward.
“Every win is important, but we didn't play our best game against Valley,” Torrence said. “We left runners on, but our pitching and defense came through.”
Joe Vita started the game and pitched solid through four innings, allowing just one run. Ben Vey came in and kept Valley off balance, and the defense made plays. Tommy Radzminski turned a double play in the fourth to keep Valley from mounting a comeback.
“The defensive play all comes from the pitchers trusting the defense … they know that they can throw strikes, and we are strong up the middle and on the corners,” Radzminski said. “It's a give and take.”
Radzminski is a four-year starter, and Vita is a three-year starter for Hampton.
“This game (against Valley) was one where we wanted to work on locations and get ready for the rest of the week,” Vita said. “I am excited because the juniors like Ben (Vey), who has a big arm, pitched well and we have some situational guys to come in. That is one of the main things I am impressed with.”
With Vita as a strong No. 1 pitcher and Vey also someone whom Torrence can count on, the Talbots look to Steve Dayton at first, Radzminski at second and a joint effort from seniors Brandon Marsonek, Zach Kocak and Corey Michalek at short and third. Catching duties will be handled by Zach Staszak and Brandon Olszewski.
The outfield has nice options as Eddie Edwards, Brandon Marsonek and Charlie Winek all can play.
With the lack of hitting early on, Torrence is encouraged by the pitching rotation and the defense.
“We have been throwing strikes, not walking guys and making the routine plays,” Torrence said. “Even though we have not hit well, we have made plays. We have to execute better.”
Radzminski said there is a good bit of senior leadership on this team, but what has him the most excited is how the younger players have stepped up to make this one of the deeper teams he can remember.
“I have been a part of some talented teams, but this team has so many good junior and sophomore players who can step in and make plays,” Radzminski said. “That is what I am excited about.”
Hampton will try to keep up the winning ways as it hosts Highlands at 3:45 p.m. today.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.