COOLIDGE — In 2019, the baseball program at Imagine Prep Coolidge had all the momentum in the world. The team finished 11-3 and undefeated in their region, making a run to the playoffs.
The Eagles hoped to continue that success last year, but their season was cut short just like everyone else’s by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the team has had to adapt to changing times, including a student body less keen on participating in sports, but they’re still on their way to a return to the postseason.
Behind a strong pitching rotation, Imagine is now 8-4 on the season with only Wednesday’s home game against James Madison Prep left to play. They should comfortably make it to the playoffs, where they believe their quality on the mound gives them a good chance.
“Our pitching has been outstanding this year,” head coach Luis Gomez said.
That side of the game is led by seniors Dyago Savadra and Andrew Siquiros, the latter of whom pitched a perfect game against East Valley Athletes for Christ on April 19, striking out all 15 batters he faced in the 18-0, five-inning win. That was the second no hitter of the season, though the first came in a loss to Heritage Academy-Maricopa as walks and errors made the difference.
As for the offense, the Eagles are searching for some consistency as players have been in and out for various reasons, while there isn’t much depth as turnout was lower due to COVID. First baseman James Duval has been leading the way with a .600 batting average and 10 extra base hits so far.
“We have our core guys, but other than the four who have been here since day one, it’s just been a scramble to get nine guys out here on the field,” Gomez said.
The team is focused on getting rid of mental errors before the playoffs begin. Should they do so in a condensed playoff format caused by several teams dropping out of the season, they believe the potential for greatness is there.
“As long as everybody comes out and does their job,” Gomez said, “we’ll make a pretty good run.”