Sebastian Golden and Nicholas Dal Porto | June 22, 2018
“Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light?”
The immortal words from our country’s national anthem rang clear on the cool spring evening. Only it wasn’t a choir or a professional singer performing. It was the Design Tech baseball team.
And while the team’s off-key performance in some ways reflected their season, things are looking up for the Dragons.
The team’s inaugural season in 2017 was decidedly rocky, when it chalked up a 2-4-2 win-tie-loss record, often losing by double digits. The team officially joined the Private School Athletic League (PSAL) this spring and fared much better, posting an overall record of 8 wins and 9 losses. Many players on the team ranked high in the league-wide statistics, including three who placed in the top ten in batting average. Sophomore first baseman Steven Varghese said that last year “We weren’t really focused on winning every game because we knew the other teams were better than us, so we were just having fun and enjoying it.” However, he said, this year, “We really did bond a lot, and I think we became a close family, but it was a little more serious.”
While the club’s seniors are leaving, and the younger players are taking on a greater role, many believe the team will be stronger than ever. Several starting players this year were freshmen or sophomores, and these players will most likely only get better the longer they play. “We have many kids who are consistent and experienced players coming in, that have been playing for a number of years,” said Marcus Marsall, the team’s head coach and d.tech’s Athletic Director. “I think that everyone will come together as a single unit, grow, develop, and be competitive.”
With 14 of its 18 players being freshmen and sophomores, next year’s baseball crew will rely heavily on its underclassmen. Among these players are sophomore Keito Frank and freshman Nikhil Godbole. Frank, a pitcher and third baseman, proved himself as a consistent leadoff hitter with a .549 on-base percentage. Godbole emerged this year as one of the league’s best pitchers, finishing the year with a 1.95 earned run average. “They’re great pitchers, but they’re also great teammates,” said senior catcher Bradley Kishiyama, who is the team’s captain. “They push everyone to do their best. We’re going to need leaders like them as the older players leave.”
“I think the team is going to be really good next year, and especially in two years,” said Kishiyama. “We had a lot of freshmen this year that were really good and really special players. We had way more talent than what our record reflected, just because of our lack of experience working together and it being only our second year in the program.”
The team will still face challenges unique to its fledgling program. Currently, all home games occur at Pacific Shores, two fields dwarfed by office buildings on the remote waterfront region of Redwood City. As it is a 15-minute drive from school, players must drive themselves or find other means of transportation.
The Dragons have come a long way since their inception last year. In one particularly disappointing game in 2017, the team suffered a 20-1 loss. But with a new crop of players and an additional year of experience, they’re dedicated to becoming as successful as they can be. “We have a long way to go,” Varghese said. “I think the whole team knows this and is prepared to put in the work.”