PLHS baseball squad falls short of CIF play
by Keith Antigiovanni
Published - 05/28/08 - 01:00 PM | 2084 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Point Loma High School (PLHS) Pointers baseball team fell shy of its bid for the CIF post-season tournament despite a strong finish and despite ending on a winning note.

Ultimately, it was the team's 2008 overall record that prevented the Pointers from advancing to post-season play.

"We were a bubble team so it could have gone either way. We play in the strongest league in the county from top to bottom, the Western League, along with the Avocado League. We had really good practices so it was heartbreaking that we couldn't get in and show the county what we can do," said PLHS head baseball coach Jon Posternack.

The Pointers wrapped up the season 13-13 overall and were 6-6 in arguably the county's most competitive section.

The .500 league record is a two-game improvement over the 4-8 league finish from 2007, when Point Loma finished 17-15 overall and qualified for the postseason last year.

There were four teams that finished with better overall records than PLHS in the Western League, including Cathedral (25-8), Coronado (24-8), La Jolla (20-9-1) and Mission Bay (21-11).

"We improved our league record from last year and beat teams like La Jolla, Cathedral, Coronado and St. Augustine," Posternack said.

Going into the final week of the regular season, Point Loma made a strong case for a playoff berth when they swept the Western League rival Clairemont Chiefs 16-0 and 16-6 in a home and away series.

"There was no quit in us all season," said Posternack. "Our problem was that we were erratic throughout the year and were not able to put together a good winning streak."

The Pointers were, indeed, inconsistent throughout the season. After they began the year 0-4, Point Loma did not win or lose more than three consecutive games the remainder of the season.

The Pointers will bid farewell to 10 seniors but will have two solid junior pitchers returning next season "” Kevin Hilton and Zac Hile. Another junior, Matt Arlington, will also return. Arlington was named to the first-team Western League and led the Pointers with a .402 batting average and 6 home runs. One of the seniors who will be missed is catcher Andy Martin, who finished on the second-team Western League and led the team with 6 stolen bases. Martin will be playing college baseball on the east coast next year for the Merchant Marine Academy.

Underrated junior third baseman Coleman Cox also will rejoin the Pointers in 2009. Cox batted .366.

Sophomore Sean Stepina is also expected to return. Stepina hit .319 and has the versatility to play catcher and outfield.

"He did a phenomenal job for us this year while he learned a new position," Posternack said. "He has a bright future."

Senior Alex Perez will also be missed. He batted .310 and Posternack noted that Perez provided strong senior leadership.

Even with the influx of young talent in 2009, the task won't get any easier for the Pointers as the Western League shapes up strongly again next year.

"It looks very promising for us," Posternack said. "We have a close-knit team and had a lot of fun this season. Next year we are going to put more wins on the board so we don't have to rely on someone else to make the playoffs."
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