Disabato: St. Rita riding high at 17-0

BaseballStateChamps

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsBy Pat Disabato pdisabato@southtownstar.com Twitter: @disabato April 16, 2014 8:40PM It’s difficult to determine what’s more impressive about St. Rita’s 17-0 baseball record: that the Mustangs have played 17 games during this hazardous spring or that they’ve won all 17 games.

Knowing that Mustangs coach Mike Zunica would be willing to play in an oversized igloo if allowed, I’m more impressed with his team’s 17-game winning streak.

That St. Rita is perfect through Wednesday (after a 7-0 win over Gordon Tech) isn’t a total shocker. The Mustangs were the preseason No. 2 team before unseating No. 1 Mount Carmel two weeks ago and are coming off the summer league state championship.

That St. Rita is perfect through Wednesday (after a 7-0 win over Gordon Tech) isn’t a total shocker. The Mustangs were the preseason No. 2 team before unseating No. 1 Mount Carmel two weeks ago and are coming off the summer league state championship.

Additionally, this is a program that’s won 30 games nine times and advanced to four state finals in the past 17 seasons.

Still, 17-0?

“I’m not surprised,” Zunica said of his team’s streak. “This team has a great mind-set every day. They don’t feel like they won anything except for a bunch of preseason games.”

In reality, that’s all the Mustangs have won. Plaques and trophies aren’t awarded for winning a bunch of nonconference games.

However, the Mustangs have exhibited an air of dominance during their impressive run. The team batting average is a robust .352. The team ERA a minuscule 1.08. They’ve outscored opponents 155-19.

That’s borderline cruelty.

“I’m not surprised at all,” St. Rita senior Jake Shepski said. “We knew going into the season we had a real good team.

“Everyone worked hard during the offseason.”

It’s showed during the first three weeks of the season. The pitching staff has been a pleasant surprise. Mike Costanzo, an Austin Peay recruit, has been dominant on the bump — that’s not a surprise —boasting a 5-0 mark and 0.56 ERA. Junior Tyler Halas, already committed to Tennessee, has stepped up his game and is 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA.

Junior Matt Lenzen and senior C.J. Santoyo (Utah) are vying for the No. 3 spot in the rotation and each is 3-0.

At the plate, Halas, Shepski, Nick Goldsmith, Nate Soria and Mateo Zunica have been feasting on the competition.

“I like our approach and the way we’re swinging the bats,” Mike Zunica said. “But there’s room for improvement.”

Now that’s scary.

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