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Baseball enters the spring with high expectations

Current+Junior+Taylor+Clark+takes+a+cut+during+a+2018+game.
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Baseball enters the spring with high expectations

Current Junior Taylor Clark takes a cut during a 2018 game.

Current Junior Taylor Clark takes a cut during a 2018 game.

Current Junior Taylor Clark takes a cut during a 2018 game.

Current Junior Taylor Clark takes a cut during a 2018 game.

Mark Habelt, Staff Reporter

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Armed with a dynamic pitching staff and a talented starting lineup, the Panther baseball team will likely improve upon last year’s record (14-12 overall, 7-7 PAL) and make a run at a league title. The team returns 10 players from last year’s Central Coast Section (CCS) team, which ended the season in a 3-2 loss to Archbishop Mitty in the Division II quarterfinals.

The starting lineup will be led by incumbent stars Taylor Clark (P/IF), Jordi Aguilar (2B) and Chase Funkhouser (IF), all of whom batted over .300 last year. Manager Sean Scott will also have plenty of utility options to choose from, including versatile catcher Tim Christian and speedy outfielder Will Higuera.

The starting lineup will be headed by Emilio Flores, who posted a 4-2 record with a 1.65 ERA and two complete games in 12 appearances. Following Flores will be Dominic Caprini and Thomas McClure, who pitched a combined nine innings last year, as Scott primarily utilized Nick Cerelli, Justin Beressi and Carlo Lopiccolo in his 2018 rotation.

The bullpen will primarily be comprised of juniors Leo Bashaw, Tyler Moniz-Witten and Clark, as well as seniors Zac Berger and Joe Flood. The relievers have a combined three and one-third innings of varsity-level pitching experience, but Bashaw dominated the junior varsity level with a 2.80 ERA in 40 innings, while Flood and Berger are the only left-handers on the roster.

The Panthers begin regular season play with a home game against Mount Eden (Hayward) on Friday, Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. They will begin the next week with back-to-back games against the neighboring Mills Vikings and and San Mateo Bearcats. Notable matchups on the rest of the schedule include Saint Ignatius on March 5, Serra on March 8, reigning Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) champion Sacred Heart Preparatory on March 13 and 15 and PAL runner-up Carlmont on April 24 and 26.

As for the expectations the team set for itself, Christian put them bluntly: “win.” Encouragingly, the Panthers have the right pieces in place to do more than just win the league. Burlingame can reasonably expect to make a run for the CCS title, which would be the team’s first since 2010.

About the Writer
Mark Habelt, Staff Reporter

Mark Habelt is a junior and first year journalism student. He enjoys playing BHS basketball and participates in the BHS environmental club. In his free...

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Baseball enters the spring with high expectations