Eastern Christian baseball coach Joe Oliva delivered a stern message to his team following its 21-4 loss at Rutherford a week ago.
Oliva told the Eagles, then 1-3, that their performance against the Bulldogs, ranked No. 9 in The Record Top 25, was unacceptable. He implored them to realize they’re a much better baseball team than that.
They didn’t waste any time proving Oliva correct.
Eastern Christian responded with walk-off wins Tuesday and Wednesday that instilled much-needed confidence in a team with a suddenly optimistic outlook entering its home game today against No. 25 Pompton Lakes.
Junior third baseman Adam Dykstra’s bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth beat Glen Rock, 2-1, on Tuesday. Sophomore catcher Ben Boonstra’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh enabled the Eagles (3-3) to defeat No. 21 Hawthorne, 6-5, on Wednesday.
“A weak-minded team could’ve bagged the whole season,” Oliva said. “A weak-minded team could have let the season get away from them. But that’s the exact opposite of what we did.”