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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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Under new leadership, baseball puts best foot forward

Under new leadership, baseball puts best foot forward

After finishing 16th in the state last season, the baseball team is looking to build upon last year with Steve Stanicek as the new head coach.

Stanicek admits that three coaching changes in three years can impact the team. However, he believes that the current team is a perfect fit to combat this challenge.

“I think [the coaching changes] have been very difficult for them, but they’re a very eager group and a very coachable group,” Stanicek said. “Putting them in a new system [has] been overwhelming at times, but I think they’re getting the hang of it.”

According to senior outfielder Cody Carroll, the transition between coaches started in the off-season when the team engaged in a winter training program.

“It was the first time we [had a pre-season program],” Carroll said. “Coach Stanicek thought we worked really hard and the expectations started high from there. A lot of us know [Stanicek] from football, so I don’t think it is that much of a difference.”

Senior pitcher Conor McCarthy also sees a shift in the culture with Stanicek running the program. McCarthy believes that the changes within the system are all for the better.

“The practices are a lot more structured,” McCarthy said. “I personally enjoy it a lot more. [The practices are] quicker, and you get your work done in the time allotted.”

With a roster consisting of 13 seniors, four of whom have made commitments to play college baseball, there is a strong sense of veteran leadership on the team, according to Carroll.

“The leadership is really good this year,” Carroll said. “Seniors are getting equipment out, setting up drills. We don’t have coaches for every position so in some drills we’re coaching ourselves at times and each other.”

Stanicek also believes that leadership is one of the team’s strongest qualities and its impact is stretching beyond the varsity team.

“The leadership has been outstanding,” Stanicek said. “[Senior third baseman] Tommy O’Hara and [senior shortstop] Mario Tursi have really taken the role as leaders. A lot of our practices have also included the sophomore team so their influence has trickled down to the sophomore level.”

The Titans began their season on a rough note with a 9-4 loss to Barrington, something that has not happened in the seniors’ baseball careers at South, according to Carroll. However, the Titans were able to turn it around on April 1 when McCarthy threw a no-hitter in a 10-0 rout over Stevenson, the team that ended the Titans’ season last year.

“We were seeing the ball better and pretty much everyone was hitting well,” Carroll said. “We had no errors [against Stevenson], and they made some mistakes that gave us runs. We just played [well] as a team, and we all worked together.”

Stanicek emphasized the importance of McCarthy’s control over his pitches which led to his no hitter.

“What separated [McCarthy’s] second outing from his first was he had command of his fastball,” Stanicek said. “He threw strikes with his fastball and he got his breaking ball over for strikes as well. He only walked two people, and that’s going to set itself up for success, and when you have Conor’s stuff, that’s what brings it to possibly no hitter level.”

Stanicek believes that the team’s success lies in the hands of the leadership and performance of the seniors on the squad. He also expects to find major contributions from a couple of juniors in the pitching rotation.

“I think our senior class is really strong,” Stanicek said. “On the mound [we have] Conor McCarthy and Michael Lenckos and then we have some juniors [with] Fitz Stadler and Mike Arkema. In the field it really comes down to Tommy O’Hara, Mario Tursi, and Cody Carroll.”

The Titans are 6-3 and will hit the diamond next on April 19 with a double header against Buffalo Grove.

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