It seems like years since the Brahma baseball team has had something to really be proud of about itself, but this season the diamond has been hot.
The Pierce Brahmas are not only contending for a playoff birth and are second in the Western State Conference northern division, but they are playing with a style and flair that hasn’t been seen since former Brahma, now Oakland Athletics outfielder, Coco Crisp flashed the leather.
First off, the Brahmas hitting numbers are off the charts. As a team the Brahmas lead the state in team batting average. That’s right, not in conference but the state, hitting .324. They are ranked second in on-base percentage and third in slugging percentage. If that is not impressive enough, the Brahmas have six players that are hitting over 350. Combine that with a pitching staff that has had four quality starts in a row during the recent winning after struggling during the beginning of the season, and the Brahmas now have a recipe for getting wins.
Pierce’s baseball team has finally arrived. They have won four in a row and recently annihilated the number five ranked Allan Hancock Bulldogs, scoring 26 runs in the two-game sweep including going all the way up to the Bulldogs’ kennel and scoring 16 runs, showing that this Brahmas team can now compete with any team on a daily basis.
The freshmen are showing that they have the ability to play at a high level. Much-maligned former Chatsworth High School stars, shortstop Austin Peters and pitcher Harsa Prahara, have become mainstays for the Brahmas. Peters, after getting off to a slow start, has embraced his role as a productive hitter with a .358. batting average while also massively improving his defense.
During the win against Santa Barbara, Peters made big plays including a game-saving leaping catch in the ninth inning. Better yet, he didn’t commit an error against the third ranked team in Southern California and his poise and confidence is seemingly growing with every game.
Harsa Prahara has shown maturity much like Peters, but on the mound. His command of his breaking balls are now helping a Pierce team that are slowly but surely becoming a team that can not only hit the ball, but can deliver solid starts and keep teams at bay. He is leading the Brahmas in victories and is showing that he can go deep into ball games.
The Brahmas have the ultimate test coming up this week. After playing the Santa Barbara Vaqueros on Tuesday, the Brahmas get to square off against the Oxnard Condors on Thursday and Saturday, with the game on Saturday at home. The Condors, who are the second ranked team in Southern California, feature one of the top pitchers in the state, Patrick Weigel, who throws a 95 mph fastball.
Last time the Brahmas played the Condors, they were swept in the two games they played, getting outplayed in every aspect of the game. However, during this stretch the Brahmas have gone on, they have proven that they can not only score runs, but now the pitching is coming alive. The recent outing from freshman right-hander Prahara, who went seven innings and gave up only three runs, is proof that the Brahmas are now becoming a complete team.
This week they have a showdown against Oxnard with first place on the line. The Brahmas are out to prove that not only are they a competitive team, but want to prove that they are indeed the best. Pierce will need everything they have shown during their recent run and they can only hope things will be different this time.