Sobrato High Baseball Team Ready to Surprise in Mount Hamilton – Morgan Hill Times
Sobrato High’s baseball program got its wish as it was promoted to the Blossom Valley League’s premier division, Mount Hamilton, for this season.
Now the Bulldogs will have to fight and play to their potential to stay in the A league.
“It will be fine, we will survive,” coach James Pozas said. “Let’s see what happens.”
Standout junior pitcher Seth Hernstedt expressed optimism about how the team will fare in league play this season.
“I think we’re going to shock a lot of people who don’t think we’re going to do well in League A,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us. We have great team chemistry, we work really well together and we all love each other.
Sobrato will rely on Hernstedt and Ethan Marmie to carry the charge over the bump. A star of the basketball team, Marmie is back after not playing baseball in her sophomore season. At 6ft 7in and with a snappy arm, Marmie brought plenty of excitement to the program.
He is coming off a one-hitter shutout against a Cupertino team that entered their March 12 game at 6-0.
“Ethan started two years ago, injured his arm and never got good enough to pitch last year,” Pozas said. “He’s very good, he hits 90 mph and he can do it up there. He can also hit really well.
Said Hernstedt: “We’re really excited to have Ethan because we lost Will Conn and Ethan sort of replaces him. He’s such a good arm and a key factor because if you start a season without a good pitcher, you won’t be able to do much.
Hernstedt, who drove in the only race of the match against Cupertino, is definitely someone who knows how to get things done. Along with being a standout football player, the right-hander threw a hit with 16 strikeouts in a 7-0 non-league win over Gilroy High on March 3. It was an efficient 98-throw gem that represented the high point of Hernstedt’s budding athletic career.
“It was something special,” he said. “It may never happen again, but I hope it does. But it was great to celebrate with the team.
After saving the final – fittingly, on a strikeout – Hernstedt threw down his hat and glove and let out a scream before being mobbed by his teammates, including trusty catcher Tyler Pina, who frames well the throws, is solid defensively and works well with the pitcher.
Hernstedt vividly recalls Conn knocking out 15 Gilroy batters in their first of two non-league games against the Mustangs last season, followed by a no-hitter against Monterey High in the Central Coast Section playoffs. .
“Coming into the Gilroy match I remember Will Conn did good against them both times so that inspired me to do the same as him and luckily I was able to do that,” said said Hernstedt.
Pozas was amazed but at the same time not surprised that Hernstedt was able to produce a no-hitter.
“Everything he threw was perfect,” Pozas said. “His off-speed was perfect every time, and he put a lot of people out with the slider and the fastball in the area.”
Hernstedt got most of his strikeouts from his fastball, but he used a lot of curves and sliders to unbalance Gilroy’s lineup. Hernstedt credits all of his time training at the Kinetic Performance Institute — Live Oak’s Landon Stump and Aidan Keenan also train there — as helping him excel both on the grill and on the baseball field.
“I can go to KPI and throw relievers and hit and do all these things that I can’t really do at the park,” he said. “It’s a beautiful establishment and it really inspires me to improve myself every day when I go there.”
Says Pozas: “Seth does a ton of off-season work with pitching specifics, and he’s now stronger late innings because his mechanics are really solid. He felt it and it was something else.
Sobrato fired many talents from last year’s BVAL Division Championship winning team Santa Teresa, including Shane Callison, Matt Primeau, Thomas Martinelli, Ethan Clark and Jamison Pozas. Callison, a recent signing from Sonoma State, has been ultra-reliable since his freshman season, over the years playing just about every position on the court and excelling in every one of them.
He plays shortstop this season and hits in his usual first spot. The aforementioned Pina will beat third or clean and is simply a rock behind the flat.
“Tyler Pina is an off-light receiver and has an incredible swing and eye,” Pozas said.
Pozas’ son, Jamison, plays first base and generally has productive plate appearances. Primeau is a junior second baseman and has been off to a strong start in the first five games of the season. Pozas expects Primeau and Pina to be very productive hitters and disciplined batters every time they come to the plate.
Martinelli plays center field and pitcher, playing a vital role, especially with the latter position with his ability to start or substitute. Clark also plays outfield and throws. Javier Alvarado, a transfer from Live Oak, also has the potential to start or replace.
“If our 1-2 punch from Seth and Ethan can get us a lot of innings, I think we’ll be fine because we’ve got a lot of guys that can go one to two innings,” Pozas said. “We have a lot of throwing depth.”
Sportswriter Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]