BOLTON - In close baseball games, singular split-second decisions by base-runners and infielders can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Bolton Baseball Coach Mark Andrejkovics, facing a youthful team in his 11th season, says he'll be relying both on his players' brain cells and fast synapses to make the games go the right way in 2010.
After losing most of their experienced pitchers after a solid 6-4 season in 2009, Andrejkovics said this year required some rebuilding.
But maybe he's sounding hesitant to bluff the competition - the Eagles have a deep pitching staff, with three players ready to step up and several more who can serve as backup, Andrejkovics said.
Heading off the pitching roster are Senior Dan Brown, ace Sophomore Mitchell Jordan, and Tyler Calzada, also a 10th grader. Standouts include Jacob Nittmann, catcher and cleanup hitter.
"The kids work very hard every practice, every game, to get better," he said. "They are a very intelligent team."
The hard work has been paying off, he said, as the they've been improving fast, despite limited practice time. Defensively, the Eagles' infield is already strong.
Andrejkovics said that consistent slugging will perhaps be the determining factor, and that has been a focus of practices so far during 2010.
"Batting will be the key for us," he said. "It looks like we can hit the ball well from the top of the lineup to the bottom," he said, mentioning that he expects plenty of hits from all of his players, beyond the three at the top of the order, proven sluggers Tyler Calzada, Dan Brown and Jacob Nittmann.