The Orion

Baseball team holds ace up its sleeve

Junior+Clayton+Gelfand+fires+a+pitch+against+the+Academy+of+Art+on+Feb.+12.+Photo+credit%3A+Lindsay+Pincus
Junior Clayton Gelfand fires a pitch against the Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Junior Clayton Gelfand fires a pitch against the Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Junior Clayton Gelfand fires a pitch against the Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Kenta Mcafee

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So far this season, the baseball team has been dominating the diamond and are spurred by the phenomenal pitching of junior Clayton Gelfand.

Gelfand has had three starts for the ‘Cats, and has racked up 15 strikeouts, one pick off and an opponent batting average of .182, against 43 batters.

His success is attributed to his command of the strike zone, as well as his reliable pitches, according to head coach Dave Taylor.

“He has got a better command of the strike zone and he isn’t concerned with only getting the strikeouts,” Taylor said.

Out of the batters that Gelfand has faced, he has allowed only 12 hits and two runs. His confidence as a pitcher comes from his trust in his teammates and in his pitching ability.

“I just trust in my teammates, and when I throw strikes, I know that they’ll get the out,” Gelfand said.

Senior second baseman Andrew Carrillo was adamant about the faith he had in Gelfand’s pitching, saying that he thinks Gelfand is doing well holding his own.

“I’m extremely happy for the kid, no one wants to win as much as he does, it’s great to see him compete,” Carrillo said.

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Junior Clayton Gelfand finishes his warm up against Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

Gelfand leads the team in innings pitched with 13, and his opponent batting average is the lowest, despite facing more batters than any other pitcher on the team.

Both Taylor and Gelfand believed the slider to be the most important pitch in his arsenal, as it is the primary tool used for his strikeout.

“I try to keep the ball low and inside, I really think that’s the key to success,” Gelfand said.

While Gelfand has not had any at bat this year, he was one of only four ‘Cats to hit over .300 last year, and posted seven multi-hit games. Coach Taylor is taking steps to put him into the batting line up this year.

“He had a great season both pitching and batting, we’re working on getting him into the rotation,” said Taylor.

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Junior Clayton Gelfand launches a pitch against the Academy of Art on Feb. 12. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

 

Gelfand’s level of play has elevated the ‘Cats to their recent success and has increased the team chemistry according to Carrillo.

“It’s one of the closest teams I’ve ever been on, and I consider everyone in that locker room to be a friend,” said Carrillo. “We’re all on the same page.”

Considered to be the ace of the pitching staff, Gelfand will pitch the opening game of most weekend series for the Wildcats for the rest of the season.

Kenta McAfee can be reached at [email protected] or @KentaMcAfee on Twitter.

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Baseball team holds ace up its sleeve