Wildcats earn league’s top seed | Baseball

By David Pan | May 05, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Aleks Hansen is scheduled to start for Archbishop Murphy in its district playoff game against Liberty on Saturday, May 6.

Just about everything went right for Archbishop Murphy’s baseball team during the regular season.

The Wildcats easily earned the top seed to the 2A district playoffs with a 13-1 league record (17-3) overall.

Archbishop Murphy plays Liberty at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 6 at Daniels Field in Anacortes.

The Wildcats’ lone league loss was to 1A Cedar Park Christian - Bothell. The two teams split the regular season series with the Lions taking the opener 3-2 and the Wildcats prevailing 11-6 in the second game.

Archbishop Murphy’s success this season isn’t a surprise to first-year coach Max Whitt.

“The boys, they’ve been working really hard this year and even during the offseason, working with our trainer,” he said. “It’s good to see all that hard work paying off.”

The Wildcats field one of the top offenses in the league. Archbishop Murphy has scored nine or more runs 11 times this season.

“Our hitting has been very good,” Whitt said. “We’re averaging 10 to 11 hits a game.”

The heart of the lineup features seniors Connor O’Brien and Collin Montez, who are hitting .475 and .450, respectively, in the three and four holes. Austin Hauck, who either leads off or hits in the second spot is batting .320.

“There’s definitely power throughout the lineup,” Whitt said. “One through nine are gap-to-gap hitters that are very smart at the plate. If the pitch is outside, they go the other way. They have very good approaches at the plate.”

The Wildcats have depth in the pitching staff, along with two very hard throwers. Whitt said that he doesn’t really have a No. 1 starter.

“I’ve got a whole bunch of pitchers,” he said. “They’re competing every single day. All my kids are No. 1.”

Aleks Hansen gets the call for Saturday’s playoff game.

“He throws pretty hard (88-90 mph),” Whitt said. “He’s a competitor. He loves to compete against teams.”

O’Brien might actually be 1 or 2 mph faster than Hansen. Another standout pitcher is senior Mason Milkey. The closers roles fall to senior Parker Sand and sophomore Derek Trobough.

The pitching staff is backed up by a defense that has committed only four errors in 20 games.

“We’re going to be playing a lot of small ball. We’re preparing for that,” Whitt added. “They’re ready to compete. … We just want to go out there and give it our all.”

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