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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Early Spring Heat: Varsity Baseball’s early dominance

The Tigers play at home against Ballou on Monday.
Eli Schwartz
ROAD TIGERS: The Tigers’ team photo in their win over Landon from Mar. 21. The team is 3-2 on the road this season.

Often the phrase “stick to what you’re good at,” is thrown around frequently in sports. For the JR varsity baseball team, that’s been their bats complementing dominant pitching to begin their spring season.  

The Tigers have shut out opponents five times this season, and are coming off of a string of private school wins over Gilman School (MD) 6-4, Sidwell Friends 6-0, and the Landon School (MD), 1-0. With a forfeit on Monday from Cardozo, and a rain cancellation of their Wednesday game against St. Albans, the team has won four games in a row, notably outscoring opponents 13-4 over that span.  

“Our staff was electric last week, tons of strikeouts, zero runs given up through 14 innings. But our performances wouldn’t have been so good without the support of our defense,” said senior right-hander Casey Edwards. “Our infield and outfield have been near perfect. It gives the pitching staff confidence and it allows us to attack the zone, knowing that we have great defense behind us that’ll make routine plays.” 

ALL BARREL: Junior third baseman Etan Rosario in an at-bat against Landon from Mar. 21.

The Tigers have kept the mistakes to a minimum. In 40 ⅔ innings, the team only has four errors. 

Additionally, the pitching staff has combined for an ERA (earned run average), of just three and a half runs per game. “We have an incredible group of pitchers this year who put a lot of time and effort into this offseason,” said pitching coach Kelliann Jenkins. “The main philosophy this year has been “make them [the opposing team] earn every base.” Limiting the amount of free bases we’re giving up and battling on the mound. Our pitchers have really taken that to heart and it’s translated into games like Sidwell and Landon.”  

What’s notable about this string of success, is that the Sidwell Quakers and Landon Bears were two out of seven teams that beat the Tigers last season. With only nine games played, the Tigers (7-2, 4-0 in DCIAA) have beaten both, bringing their overall record against private school programs to 3-2 thus far. “If we pitch well, we will win games. We will find a way to score runs, but pitching is definitely our key to success,” said head coach Robinson Mateo. 

The team understands how important it is to stay even-kill no matter who the opponent is, with the obvious competition gap between private versus public school baseball in the area. In narrow ball games, where anything can happen, the Tigers prevailed, something they look to continue moving forward. “The strength of this team in nail-biter moments is the confidence this team has in themselves,” added coach Mateo. “We have great captains that step up when we need them. We focus on the small stuff, and we know that if we do the small stuff well, the big stuff will come easy. We practice the small stuff every single day.” 

“Right now we’re playing with confidence, we’re playing with each other,” added co-captain, senior right-hander Quinn Lindblom. “We’re realizing the special talent we have, guys are looking out for what the team needs, and not just for themselves.” 

OWNING THE MOUND: Senior right-hander Quinn Lindblom on the mound in a start against The Landon School.

The Tigers open April against the Ballou Knights (0-1) at home on Monday. However, what follows are another string of private school games against The Heights (MD) (Apr. 2),  Archbishop Spalding (MD) (Apr. 4), The Hun School (NJ) (Apr. 6), the Shellie Bowers Invitational against School Without Walls and St. Albans on (Apr. 13), and Archbishop Carroll (Apr. 15). Penciled in between will be in-conference games against Eastern, Roosevelt, and Dunbar. 

“We keep the same approach and mentality to whoever we’re facing. Whether it is a DCIAA game or a more competitive out of conference game, we’re going in with the same intention of winning every inning,” added coach Jenkins.

The Tigers will look to continue to click on all cylinders heading into the second month of the season. 

ON THE RISE: Junior left fielder Freeman Hunt at the plate against Landon, who recorded one of three hits on the 1-0 victory.

“It takes a group effort, but if we try to do too much, it can lead to a downfall and poor effort across the board,” said junior left fielder Freeman Hunt. “We still need to get bats going a bit. And although that may sound negative, it is exciting to know that we have potential to be even better,” added Edwards.

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About the Contributors
Justin Glenn
Justin Glenn, Assistant Sports Editor
Justin is a sports fanatic.. you’ll most likely see him with a baseball cap of some sort throughout the hallways. If he isn’t writing about high school sports, he’s likely watching a D.C. sports team, NASCAR or some other professional league in his free time. Outside of sports, he enjoys the outdoors and watching Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, besides that, he’s an average out-going person.
  • 2023-24: Assistant Sports Editor
Eli Schwartz, Assistant Director of Art and Design
  • 2022-23: Senior Photo Editor
  • 2023-24: Assistant Director of Art and Design
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