Baseball approaches playoffs 19-7


Senior NJ Gott winds up for a swing in a game against Niles West. Glenbrook North won 10-0 on April 18. Photo by Jada Glazebrook

As sophomore Chase Petersen stepped up to bat at the bottom of the second inning, the score was 2-0 with New Trier in the lead. Petersen held his breath before swinging the bat, hitting his first home run of the season and tying the score 2-2 in the April 26 game.

“I think [the baseball field is] kind of like my happy place,” said Petersen. “It’s where I belong, so I just do my best to enjoy it. Even when [I’m not playing well], I still try to enjoy it because I’ll never get that game back.”

According to senior Colin Roche, the team performed a ritual to help improve the players’ hitting after the first few games of the season.

“We each have our own bats and we put them in a circle, [pyramid] style, and said a little prayer to the baseball gods,” said Roche. “And it seemed to work. I mean, we’re doing well now, so that’s all that matters.”

Senior NJ Gott hit two home runs, one of them hitting the other team’s scoreboard, in a game against Fremd on April 15.

“He was very fired up running the bases, and I was hitting after him,” said Roche.“[Gott] just smacked my hand so hard. He was super excited.”

The team has hit a total of eight home runs as of May 11. 

“[When someone gets a home run], usually we give them the silent treatment,” said Petersen. “They’ll walk back to the dugout and no one will say anything. Then after a few seconds, we’ll all jump on him and stuff like that which is fun.”

According to head coach Dominic Savino, who is stepping down from coaching after 13 years with the program, the team does not have captains because he wants to have a team full of leaders, not just one or two people looked at as team leaders.

“Leadership starts with doing things the right way,” said Savino. “And that’s what we have, a group of young men who do things the right way, and that’s why I want all of them to have a chance to be leaders.”

According to Roche, “[Not having captains] gives people the freedom to speak up when they wouldn’t have if they weren’t designated a captain.”

The team traveled to Orlando this spring break for a baseball tournament, winning three of five games. 

“We got to play so many different talent levels,” said senior Evan Mynatt. “We got to play a Canadian team which was super cool because they didn’t speak any English, only spoke French.”

According to Petersen, a game in Orlando against Montverde Academy was very difficult because the team is highly skilled.

“I got on base a few times but was just never able to score a run, which was okay, but I felt like us competing with them the entire game and holding them to one run shows that if our bats are alive, we can beat anyone in the world,” Petersen said.

The team received the three seed in the Evanston Township sectional, and as of May 11, the team has a record of 19-7 and a conference record of 9-3. 

After every game, the previous belt winner gives “The Belt,” a bedazzled championship belt, to a player who performed particularly well. The player gets the chance to say a few words. One of the team’s favorite “belt speeches” was from freshman Ethan Bass.

“While giving a speech, he combined two sayings, ‘We’ve got to keep the pedal to the gas,’” said Mynatt. “And we all just started cracking up because it was like the funniest thing ever. So now, we keep bringing it up every time we see him.”