With so many new players this season, the Hillsdale High School baseball team has gone through a bit of an adjustment period.
The Knights committed six errors in their first scrimmage and lost six of their first eight games, but have rebounded.
“I think kids got over the fear of losing games early on,” Hillsdale coach Neal Donohoe said. “They got the idea that we’re playing against other teams. Kids kind of realized they can compete with anybody if they play their game.”
They have gone 6-1 since then and are on track to compete for a Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division title.
“Now they’re starting to develop a belief in themselves that they can play with anybody, they can come back,” Donohoe said. “You could see a lot of teams collapse. They’ve been able to fight through that.”
Hillsdale returns only one starter from last year’s team that finished fourth in the Bay and inched into the Central Coast Section playoffs as a No. 14 seed. The Knights were ousted in the first round 3-0 by eventual champ Monterey.
Hillsdale has already gotten a boost from some of its new players this season.
Sophomore third baseman Conner Wallace came out of the Peninsula Spring Classic last week with three home runs and a team-best 11 RBIs for the season, while hitting a scalding .395.
“He’s probably one of the hardest working kids that we have,” Donohoe said. “Right away [he] started hitting the ball hard and has really done a good job for us.”
Another one of the spark plugs for the Knights has been sophomore catcher Taran Poss.
Poss was named a team captain and has been a critical piece to the team’s success.
“He’s just really knowledgeable of the game,” Donohoe said. “He’s made some great plays at the plate that has prevented runs.”
Donohoe knew his team was not going to have the power of last year’s team and have had to manufacture runs in other ways.
“The big change for us has been the ability to put the ball in play, just getting used to varsity-level pitching,” he said. “The thing we really tried to emphasize was the little things.”
WHAT: PAL Bay Division baseball
WHEN: Friday, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Hillsdale High School, San Mateo