This time last year, the Miami Dade College baseball team was facing a similar battle.
The Sharks are currently 10-6 overall. They won their first 10 games and then went on a six game losing streak. Last year, the Sharks were 9-6 through their first 15 games.
“We’re still very inexperienced as a team for the most part. There’s a lot of intricate nuances in the game that the young guys need to pick up on to maximize the incredible potential we have,” said starting pitcher Garrett Bye. “That knowledge comes from in-game experience, making mistakes and adjusting accordingly.”
Last season, the team was first in the Southern Conference during the season but they fell short at the state tournament in Lakeland, Florida. This year, the Sharks are vying to improve on that using a team with a good mix of freshmen and sophomores. The team has 12 freshmen and 13 sophomores and they hope improve on last season’s 34 win season.
“It is a team sport and we’re playing in a very tough conference where all teams are driven to win,” said head coach Danny Price. “Last year we overachieved, this year the team is still looking for its identity.”
Currently, the Sharks are ranked first in the National Junior College Athletics Association Division I in doubles with 42 and second in triples (11).
Despite a 10-game winning streak to start the season, the Sharks once again are falling short when playing on a neutral field. They are 1-2 on a neutral field. Last season, despite the 34-17 overall record, the team went 4-5 when playing games on neutral fields. However, at home, the Sharks are doing much better going 5-2 in those games.
“As a team we are always ready to get to work whether that is in the field, the weight room or in the classroom,” catcher Roberto Fabelo said. “As a team we’re always pushing to get better.”
Playing big roles in the Sharks’ lineup this year are center fielder Brian Rey who leads the team with a .732 slugging average, catcher Jordan Santos who leads the team with a .591 on base percentage and outfielder Luis Guerrero who leads the team with a .415 batting average.
“As the season progresses it’s easy to predict some rapid growth and improvement, not just because everyone has talent but because they also care a lot about getting better,” Bye said.