Tuesday, April 15th
What he didn’t know was that he was pitching the game of his life.
“I was cruising,” Krajnik said. “All I kept thinking was just keep throwing. I was in this good groove where I didn’t even realize how many strikeouts I had until after the game.”
That’s when one of Krajnik’s teammates told him he had struck out 20.
“I was like, ‘Oh, not bad,’ ” Krajnik said, “not realizing, at that moment, there’s only 21 outs in a game.”
Krajnik went 2-0 last week, including an upset win over state power Gloucester Catholic, and struck out 26 to earn The Record Male Athlete of the Week honor.
Krajnik is a creature of habit before every game.
“I have a lot of superstitions,” Krajnik said. “I’m a bit of a head case before the game. I get all amped up.”
But he’s not one of those pitchers who needs to be left alone before making a start.
“I’m a very outgoing guy,” Krajnik said. “I talk and fool around before games. But maybe a minute or two before games, I just need a minute to myself.”
Krajnik knows a thing or two about pressure. He will quarterback the Gaels’ football team in the fall, and there’s some similarities between pitchers and quarterbacks.
“You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself, in your teammates,” Krajnik said. “And I have a lot of confidence in my baseball team this year. They always have my back. I just do my thing for them and I have all the confidence in the world.”
Also nominated: Jaleel Felton of Pascack Valley and Stephen Pena of Ridgefield Park for track and field; Nick Champino of Wood-Ridge for baseball; Chris Nugent of Fair Lawn for volleyball.