BY ANDREAS BUTLER
The Father Lopez Catholic High School baseball team is quietly putting together a solid season. The Green Wave is off to a 9-6 start but hasn’t garnered much attention.
“I’m excited about where we are. We are doing well but can do better. I think that we are where I thought we would be. Hopefully, we will work out the kinks during the regular season. We also have nine seniors with a lot of experience,” said Trevor Berryhill, Father Lopez’s head coach.
Berryhill is in his second season as both the head baseball coach and athletic director at the school. Last season he led the team to a 14-10 mark.
“Of course I want us to be better than that 14-10 mark. I think we are better than a year ago,” said Berryhill.
Lopez has been solid in the three phases of the game in pitching, defense and hitting.
“Some teams hit the homeruns, while others play small ball. I think that we are right in the middle. We can defend, hit and pitch. We fight and play hard on each and every pitch. We have hit the ball well and been consistent at it. Our pitching has been fantastic and our defense has been sound for the most part,” commented Berryhill.
Contributions all around
Father Lopez is led by Tommy Roache, who is leading the team on the mound and at the plate.
“He has been steady on the mound. We have a chance to win with him every time he goes out to pitch. Tommy has also put together an impressive year at the plate. He can hit and steal bases,” responded Berryhill.
Sam Shields also has been solid on the mound. Zach Hawk and freshman Joe Garrett has led the club offensively. Brandon Leonard and Brendan Nolan has helped at the plate and Marcus Bright has chipped in off the bench.
“Sam has done well on the mound, Zach is hitting well and I believe he leads the county in RBIs. We are deeper on the mound with five guys who can pitch. Marcus has done well as a defender and base runner off the bench. We have about five or six guys who can produce for us in our lineup,” added Berryhill.
The Green Wave also will have Ian Ferrell back from injury.
“He broke his hand and hasn’t played all year. He is another solid pitcher but I’m not sure when he will pitch,” stated Berryhill.
The Green Wave hopes that a tough schedule helps them make a run at the postseason. The team already has had impressive wins over marquee programs such as Winter Park Trinity Prep, Oviedo Hagarty and Jacksonville Bolles. Lopez is currently 6-0 in district 4-3A play.
“I scheduled 25 games for this season with 16 being against teams that made the state playoffs in their respective classifications last season.
The goal is to keep working and getting better,” noted Berryhill.
Lopez is currently playing in the Catholic Challenge Tournament, which began Monday and runs through April 5. The team lost to Class 4A Orlando Bishop Moore (15-3) to open the tournament.
Several Catholic school powerhouses and several good teams are participating, including Class 2A defending champion Deltona Trinity Christian, Jacksonville Providence, Pensacola Catholic, Clearwater Calvary Christian and others.
“We get to play four games, which can take a toll on a pitching staff. It’s also our spring break. I know that we open with Bishop Moore (Orlando) who is a very good Class 4A team, which has only one, lost. Every game could be a tough. It’s another good test for us. We will be challenged,” responded Berryhill.
Father Lopez still has several more tough games on its schedule with Palm Coast Matanzas (Class 5A), Orlando Timber Creek (8A) twice, Maitland Orangewood Christian and Jacksonville Providence (3A).
“I think we just have to get better with our focus during games. We have to be confident and play through it,” mentioned Berryhill.
Prep Sports Seven Baseball
1. Spruce Creek (13-4), 2. University (15-5), 3. New Smyrna (11-3), 4. Trinity (9-7-1), 5. Taylor (12-4), 6. Seabreeze (10-7), 7. Father Lopez (9-6). Lurking: Mainland (9-7), DeLand (9-9).