Sharks struggling through early growing pains with two league losses

Uneven play continues to plague the Malibu High School baseball team, which lost their first two league games last week — both against the Grace Brethren Lancers.

Coach Ari Jacobs said the team has been inconsistent in the past few games.

“We’ve been bitten by some injuries, and then either lack of offense, lack of pitching [or] lack of defense,” Jacobs said. “While having some of the other two of the three components there at times, we’re just having a breakdown of not being able to put together a game of having all three components there.”

The Sharks are on a four-game losing streak overall, and are just 4-5 on the season.

In their games against the Lancers on Wednesday, March 25, and Friday, March 27, pitching was one of the main culprits that bogged down Malibu’s play.

On Wednesday, the Sharks were down 3-0 to the Lancers for the majority of the game, but things got out of hand when they gave up three more runs in one inning later in the game. The final score was 10-0 in favor of Grace Brethren.

Declan Sheridan started Friday’s game and threw two scoreless innings, Jacobs said. But Sheridan started to regress, and had to be pulled in the third inning.

Grace Brethren had a 5-0 lead in that game, but the Sharks pulled together eight straight runs to take the lead. However, Malibu fell apart and eventually lost, 14-8.

Jacobs said 11 Lancers were either walked or hit with pitches, which contributed to Malibu’s loss of momentum in Friday’s game.

“We’re going through a funk of not being able to throw strikes, some untimely defense [and] some injuries that have affected the offense,” Jacobs said.

There were some bright spots in the two games against Grace Brethren, Jacobs said. Dylan Ross came back from sprained ankle, and junior Dillon Cohon has played well as a middle reliever.

Jacobs said he has been encouraged by how hard the team plays despite being on a losing streak.

“That’s the component that you need to have no matter what,” Jacobs said. “Win or lose, you want to have guys that play hard and don’t give up and are pulling for each other.”

Jacobs said he might have to call up junior varsity players to play games if the team can’t turn it around later in the season.
The Sharks played in the San Diego Lions tournament from Monday, March 30, to Wednesday, April 1.

Jacobs is confident that his team will turn things around during and after the MHS spring break.

“We still have five or six games ahead of us right now, or seven games possibly if we do well in the tournament and make the championships,” Jacobs said. “We have some time to fix things and get ourselves rolling for the conference push and the playoff push.”