HARWICH ----- Harwich has had a slow start to their season, struggling to win one-run games even though the Mariners are excelling at the plate. But despite a 5-9 beginning, their lineup is one of the strongest in the league.
“We’re getting a lot of hits, we’re getting on base, the guys just aren’t getting the hits at opportune times,” field manager Steve Englert said. “But that will happen. This usually happens this early in the season.
“We’re just trying to get a feel for what our lineup’s going to be, who our staple guys are,” he continued. “We’re off to a rough start, but our horses just showed up and I think we’re going to start stringing some things together.”
Those horses are new arrivals John Hicks (Virginia), Mikie Mahtook (LSU), and Steven Proscia (Virginia), who arrived last week. The talent-loaded Mariners include veteran Levi Michael (North Carolina), who played last summer, and a host of heavy hitters, four of whom are averaging over .300 with a minimum of 10 games played.
Of those four, Brian Goodwin (North Carolina) is hitting .342, Ronnie Richardson (Central Florida) .343, Austin Nola (LSU) .306, and Clint Moore (Army) a team-leading .344. Richardson, Moore, and Goodwin are among the Top 10 in the league.
“It’s kind of rough as a team going 3-6,” Moore said. “Obviously, not the start we were looking for, but I feel like we’re finally making headway.”
The problem stems from a couple tough breaks in games, such as a late game moonshot home run over the right-field fence at Y-D on June 23rd that sent the Mariners to a 5-4 loss. With a strong starting rotation and a bullpen throwing heat in the mid-90s, the pitchers have been getting the job done as the batters adjust.
“It’s like Coach Englert said to us the other day, it’s kind of a slow start but the cream always rises to the top and we’ve got one of the best teams in the league,” Michael said. “Towards the end of the season it’s going to be noticed.”
Englert has faith in his players, letting them hit and feel their swing, and he sees promise despite the disappointing record. “They’re starting to get used to the wood. I think we’re going to swing it this summer,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good offensive team, got a lot of depth, we’re starting to figure it out.”