Pointers may be turning corner after early-season slide
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Apr 23, 2014 | 1447 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior Joe Daluz, a senior at Point Loma High, connects for a hit during a Lion’s Tournament victory against Granada Hills. Daluz, with a .320 batting average, leads his team with six runs batted in. Photos by Scott Hopkins
Senior Joe Daluz, a senior at Point Loma High, connects for a hit during a Lion’s Tournament victory against Granada Hills. Daluz, with a .320 batting average, leads his team with six runs batted in. Photos by Scott Hopkins
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It’s Baseball 101: strong pitching alone is not enough to win most baseball games. Timely hitting and reliable defensive support are also needed.

Such has been the misfortune of the Point Loma High School baseball team, which is entering the full Western League schedule with a record of 5-10 and a 4-4 tie with Montgomery High after the game was suspended after 12 innings.

Two early league matches resulted in losses to La Jolla (6-0) and Mission Bay (6-4) after the Pointers were charged with three errors in each contest.

In fact, the Pointers have yet to play an error-free defensive game — something done with some regularity by previous teams. The 2011 team was charged with only 27 errors in 30 games while the current squad has recorded 43 in its first 16.

In eight of the team’s 10 losses, Pointer hitters have generated two or less runs, with four of those games decided by a one- or two-run margin.

And yet, improvement is apparent under first-year head coach Joe Radovich (PLHS class of 1968) and his staff.

In the recently completed Lions Tournament, his boys won three of four games, including a 12-2 blowout of Central High (El Centro) and a 2-0 shutout of Chula Vista by senior Joe Daluz, his first victory after being saddled with three losses.

Daluz’s losses have come despite his 1.28 earned-run average and only three walks given up to go with 23 strikeouts. Only five of 13 runs he has given up were earned.

As a staff, the Dogs have recorded a sparkling 2.23 ERA. But only 37 of the 62 runs scored against them are earned, spoiling some strong performances. 

James Klueber, a senior, has a 2-2 record (1.45 ERA), while junior Ryan Arnold has started the most games (six, with a 1-4 record, 3.73 ERA).

At the plate, several players have helped the team build a .251 batting average. Without them, that number would likely fall below the dreaded Mendoza Line (.200).

Infielder Chance Jimenez, a senior, tops the Pointers in several categories, including batting average (.367), hits (18), doubles (two, tied with four others) and on-base percentage (.426). He has struck out only twice in 55 plate appearances.

Cole Lemmel, a junior, is hitting .321 with 17 hits, including two doubles.

Daluz has a .320 average and a team-leading six runs batted in and two doubles. He has struck out only three times in 58 plate appearances and has a .386 on-base percentage. Jordan Goulet, a senior, sports a .397 on-base percentage.

The remaining Western League play:

• April 25:  home vs. University City

• April 30:  home vs. La Jolla

• May 2: at La Jolla

• May 5: at Mission Bay

• May 7: home vs. Mission Bay

• May 14: home vs. Madison

• May 16: at Madison

• May 19: at University City

• May 21: home vs. University City

All games take place at 3 p.m., and admission is free.

EXTRA BASES

• The David Wells Field is due for a new artificial turf installation following this season. The current hard surface likely contributes to fielding errors when balls take bad bounces.

• The injury bug has also bitten the Pointers. Pitchers Jayson Pappas and Sean Robinson, both juniors, are among those on the disabled list. Pappas, also a catcher whose bat is needed, should return soon. Robinson will undergo elbow surgery.

• Pointer baserunners have stolen 10 bases to date, while opponents have swiped 25.

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