VENICE — They are young. They are undersized. They are in their first year ever playing baseball. They are Mulholland League champs.
The Pacifica Christian Seawolves pulled off the improbable Thursday by defeating league rival Wildwood, 16-0, and clinching the school’s first league title in the process.
“Wow, it has been a lot of fun,” Assistant Coach David O’Neil said. “We have a lot of great young men who are just really working hard and trying to put something together.”
What ever they are doing was in full glory on Thursday. The game was highlighted by Keenan Pierandozzi-Howes’ grand slam in the first inningw. The freshman finished the game 2-for-3 with five RBIs.
Freshman pitcher Kevin Hammer was equally impressive, earning the win and striking out 12 in five innings. The game was called early due to the mercy rule.
With the win Pacifica Christian is 11-2 overall and 10-1 in league.
Both O’Neil and Head Coach Julian Chavez gave all of the credit to their players, most of whom are freshman. Eight of the 11 guys on the team are freshman, setting the stage for continued success for years to come.
“They put the team first, the school first,” O’Neil said. “These aren’t just baseball players, these are guys who care about their school and each other.”
The victory over Wildwood was pay back of sorts. Pacifica Christian lost the first contest, the first game of the season, 6-7, but that was a different team, Chavez said.
“We were more prepared,” Chavez said. “The first time we faced them it was the first time some of the guys were on the field together.
“[Wildwood] beat us the first game of the season, we wanted to make a statement.”
With a small student population, Pacifica Christian has been forced to use players who play multiple sports just to fill out the roster. The team’s two seniors, David Hammer and Cameron Bell, moonlight as volleyball players making it difficult to get all the guys together at the same time in the same place.
Chavez and O’Neil have worked around those hardships and are now focused on preparing for the playoffs.
The team will work on some of the finer points of the game between now and the first game of the postseason, which will begin in a few weeks.
“It is going to get much tougher,” Chavez said. “We’ll be facing bigger schools, established programs.”
But before Pacifica Christian can focus totally on the playoffs, they will have to contend with one more league game against Westview on Monday and perhaps a non-league rematch with Cornerstone Christian late next week. Chavez said the game hadn’t been officially scheduled, but is confident it will take place.
“We want to stay sharp and not face a long layoff,” Chavez said of the game against Cornerstone.