The TJ vs. East rivalry returns to the diamond at All-City Stadium.
Thomas Jefferson’s baseball team has had an excellent run, and as playoffs approach, the game with the rival Denver East Angels on May 5 at All City Stadium has become the main focus of the team. The boys started off the year with a record of 12-2, with a loss to East earlier this season, which was, according to many members, a closer game than the score indicated. “We played a great game for the first four and a half innings when we played East [on their turf],” said senior pitcher Nathan Waterhouse. “But we lost focus and tried doing too much.” In that first game with East, the score was only 3-2 in favor of East throughout the first four and a half innings.
A significant amount of time has passed since the Spartans have defeated the Angels in 2012, although there have been several close games during that time. All but two of the games have ended with scores within two runs since the when the Spartans last came out victorious. “We know we can beat them, we just need to come out and be focused from the first pitch,” said junior pitcher Trystan Kimmel.
This season, the Spartans have been able to overcome adversity and come back to win five games this season. By the middle of the season, the boys have already had more conference wins than last season, and needed one more win to match their total from a season before. “We knew this season was going to be a special one and that we would be able to win around 14 or 15 of our 19 games and be able to win the league,” stated Kimmel.
Members of the this year’s team have put in a great season, and are leading the conference or are in the top spots of most of the statistical categories. Junior Patrick McDuffie is among the best hitters in the league, and has one of the best batting averages and most runs batted in. Senior Seve Rogers is arguably the fastest player in the league, with the most stolen bases this season. Other players such as junior Dylan Van Sky, senior Chase Remme, and freshman Nick Bowermaster are also in the top five of other categories for hitting, while Kimmel, Waterhouse and senior Jon Dar are among the best pitchers.
The rivalry game will take place at All-City Stadium on May 5th at 6:30 pm. “This is a game we look forward to every season because we want to beat them more than anyone else and we feel we have the players to do that on the fifth,” commented Waterhouse. The team has a challenging week ahead with three games that could be crucial to the team’s playoff hopes and among the toughest is the game they look forward to every year.