A Central Coast Section playoff bid may be out of reach for Jewish Community High School of the Bay’s baseball team this season, but the Wolves continue to set milestones.
With a 15-5 win over Latino College Prep of San Jose in Private School Athletic League play on Monday at Jackson Playground, the Wolves collected their 10th win of the season, a school record.
“In our last two games, we faced the best pitcher in the league and possibly the best team in the league,” Jewish Community coach John Hagan said. “Those are two games that are going to show what we’re really made of and if we’re as good as we think we are.”
The Wolves took control early, scoring five runs in the second inning to break a 1-1 tie, and rode the arm of junior starting pitcher Ariel Applbaum.
Applbaum struck out six and allowed just two hits and an unearned run to collect the win.
“I was just using fastballs and a few curveballs,” Applbaum said. “I trusted my infield and tried to throw strikes, that’s about it. I’m glad I could pitch well for the seniors [on senior day] and that we were able to get the win.”
After allowing back-to-back singles in the second inning, Applbaum retired the last nine Latino Prep batters he faced.
“We’ve got him coming back next year, but he’s not considered one of our top pitchers,” Hagan said. “He showed today that maybe he should be.”
With a 9-1 lead after the fourth inning and the game seemingly in hand, Hagan made mass substitutions in the Wolves’ lineup, inserting several underclassmen and removing Applbaum.
At first the move looked to be premature, as the Golden Eagles rallied for four runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 9-5, but the young additions responded in the bottom half.
The Wolves scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by three consecutive RBI hits from freshmen Ben Preneta and Aden Rubinson, and senior Benny Sosnick.
“It was nice to see those guys hit,” Hagan said. “We haven’t had a lot of chances to put them in, which is why we wanted to put them in as early as possible.”
Six batters later, the Wolves batted around and ended the game (due to the 10-run mercy rule) on an RBI single from senior Ben Ryzak, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored.