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Baseball Finishes Regular Season With a Bang

Posted 04/30/2008 by Marc Houghton

TJ Baseball defeats East 17-4, and prepares for the upcoming playoffs.
by Marc Houghton
Photo by Ryanne Mollo

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 The Spartan baseball team is on a roll, coming off their sixth consecutive city championship after romping the East Angels in their last regular season game on Monday.  TJ came out of the gates swinging and never cooled down, as they finished off their DPL rivals by a score of 17-4 in the sixth inning.  After a tough loss against 5A Doherty on Saturday, April 26th, the boys bounced back, and are now carrying some strong momentum into the state playoffs. 

    TJ’s offense has been working well for them all season, and they showed their talent at the plate against East on Monday.  They got out to an early lead, and were up by a score of 13-4 after five innings, with help from a home run by Brett Nathan, his seventh of the year.  The final blow came when Michael Mankoff hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to end the game by the 10-run rule, and to give TJ the outright city championship along with their 22nd consecutive league victory. 

    This win brings their regular season record to an impressive 17-2, which will give the Spartans a very high seed for the playoffs.  With the district playoffs starting on Saturday, TJ expects to go in among the top two seeds, as they have consistently proven all season that they have the talent to win a state title. With their only two losses coming against ranked 5A teams, and a number of solid wins under their belt, TJ will be a favorite to go all the way in the 4A state tournament. 

    The Spartans lineup has been consistent all year, and shows confidence in every spot of the order.  With all nine batters in the sarting lineup hitting over .350 in the regular season, the TJ offense has no weaknesses.  The defense has also been in top form all season, led by Tyler Thornton and Brett Nathan in the infield, and Kian Jost and Cooper Hearne in the outfield.  The TJ pitching staff is led by seniors Dylan Smith, Ryan Allen, and Michael Mankoff along with some talented underclassmen in sophomore Brennan Henry and freshman Chris Van Dyke.

    The team is excited and ready to face whatever team they draw in the first round of the playoffs.  With their senior leadership and young talent, TJ is  going to be a very tough group to beat, and they hope they can finish where they left off last season, and bring a state championship to TJ baseball for the first time since 1967.