When the T.C. Williams Titan baseball team took the field for the first time this spring, 35 mph wind gusts brought temperatures into the 20s and early sunset made it feel even colder. The weather is improving; daylight savings time is here and Coach Scott Grossi is looking forward to a successful year.
As Grossi begins his second year at T. C. Williams High School, he has reason for optimism. This years Titan team is comprised of six seniors and eight juniors, with seven returning varsity players. They also won both of their scrimmages last week, beating St. Stephens in the cold, 5-2, and outlasting Mt. Vernon in the sunshine on Saturday, 12-11.
We only lost three seniors from last years team so we have a lot of experience at key positions, Grossi said.
Last year the Titans had three pitchers. This year, we have seven kids who can legitimately pitch for us and this should help us a great deal, Grossi said.
Also the Titans have improved defensively. Our experience means that we know the signs better and we should make fewer defensive mistakes, Grossi said.
If the team has a weakness, it is consistency. This group of kids is very capable of winning a lot of games but they need to believe that and to play consistently, day in and day out. If they play the way they are capable of playing, they will win a lot of games, said the coach.
Senior catcher Alex Hitsuka, has committed to Virginia Military Institute, where he has been offered a scholarship to play baseball. He will be the teams backup catcher next year. Jack Cooper, a senior pitcher, is considering his collegiate options. He has been offered an opportunity to play ball at MacCalister College in Minnesota but has made no decision. The remaining seniors plan to attend college but will not play baseball.
The 2006 Titans had an 8-12 record and Grossi said they should do better this year. West Springfield and Lake Braddock are always tough and South County did great last year and will be just as good this season. Still, we have a lot of talent and this should be an exciting year, he said.
The Titans first home game is March 27 against Lake Braddock. Game time is 6 p.m.