The varsity boys baseball team was neck and neck with Palos Verdes Peninsula on March 12 before a late collapse resulted in a 10-3 home loss. The Normans only trailed 4-3 after six innings until they imploded, allowing Palos Verdes six consecutive home runs. Although the team was disappointed by the result, the preseason schedule has been purposely designed to challenge the Normans.
“Our schedule has been really tough so far this preseason,” third baseman Maxwell Martin said. “This is the first year we’ve really had a tough out of league schedule like Santa Monica and Culver [City]. It really helped them for league the last few years and we assume that it’ll have the same effect for us.”
The Normans hope to utilize their experienced roster as the season progresses. Of the team’s nine starters, seven are returning seniors. According to second baseman Jack Ross, the leadership of so many returning players has helped the first-time varsity players transition to the advanced level of competition.
“The returning players have helped us new varsity players see what it takes to go up to the next level and prepare for games,” Martin said.
The team has been especially focused on improving its hitting. While outfielder Parker Davis believes the team has several skilled hitters, his teammates and he shared that they have struggled to finish clutch hits with runners in scoring position. After the Palos Verdes game, Ross was not too concerned though, as he thought the game would serve as formidable preparation for league play.
“Games like these fine tune what we need to work on for league, because that is when these games are truly going to matter,” Ross said.
The Normans’ next game is at the Crescenta Valley Tournament against Cajon on Saturday, March 16. Ocean League play begins with a game at Culver City on March 9.