Baseball team sets sights on DCSAA title

Charlotte Guy and Emily Mulderig

The Wilson Tigers’ 2022 baseball season is swinging into action, and the team has one simple goal: bring home the state championship. 

“I think people are gonna doubt us because we are a much different team than last year, but we got a lot of talent and heart,” senior and varsity captain Paloma Benach said. “I expect us to win a lot of games.” 

Last year, despite COVID-19 restrictions limiting the team’s practices and preventing the Tigers from reaching their full potential, Wilson won the DCIAA championship, beating out the city’s other public school teams. Unfortunately, in a tight state championship game against St. John’s, Wilson lost 3-1. 

This season, the team can practice without any COVID restrictions, and fellow captain Kai Leckzas thinks this will be a valuable asset to the team’s success. “Coming out of COVID, we’re able to prepare as a team a lot more and practice a lot more. We couldn’t do that last year,” Leckzas said. 

Along with Leckzas, a senior and Georgetown commit, five other varsity players will be returning: Benach, Alex Ozuna, Jamari Buress, Luka Komives, and Jacob Gerson. The rest of the roster will consist of new talents, including many juniors who played on the JV team last year.

The current starting line-up has Gerson at first base, Ozuna at second, and juniors Andy Rivera, Elias Rosario, and captain Gabe Alexander at third, shortstop, and catcher, respectively. The outfielders will be Buress alongside juniors Komives and Flynn Sullivan. 

“Individually our players are some of the best in the state. I’d say our infield is the strongest part of our team, but our pitching is definitely really good as well,” Leckzas explained. 

But it seems that the Tigers’ true strength surpasses technicality, lying instead in the team’s spirit. Benach pointed to their collective strong work ethic and dedicated coaching staff. “The coaches have high expectations, so we have high expectations for ourselves,” she said.

With the team slated to play a longer schedule filled with tougher opponents, Benach stressed the need to balance their intensive practices with plenty of rest time. And although the team has what junior Zach Isaacs describes as a “family-like” bond, newcomers need to step up to the challenge, according to Leckzas. 

For Benach and Leckzas, the honor of being selected captain is invaluable. Both proudly bear the responsibility of leading the team to what Leckzas thinks of as their “end goal”: winning the DCSAA championship game. 

“This team battles and always keeps their foot on the gas,” Benach said. “It doesn’t matter what you throw at us, we will face it head-on.” •