Sports

Potoshnik and Vikings staying detail-oriented

BCS players work a defensive drill during practice.  - Josh Suman, Bellevue Reporter
BCS players work a defensive drill during practice.
— image credit: Josh Suman, Bellevue Reporter

In baseball, the little things make all the difference.

So Bellevue Christian head baseball coach Brian Potoshnik is making sure his team's focus is where it needs to be. "Drop 'em and go!," Potoshnik bellows after a catcher forgets to give his teammates the sign for a pickoff play, sending his players scrambling from their positions to all corners of the Wilburton Park field where the team practices (when the whether allows for it) on a full sprint.

In his first year as the head man of the BCS baseball program, Potoshnik is placing a heavy emphasis on making the routine play, staying focused mentally and executing even the smallest details to keep his team's defense on par with a potent attack at the plate.

"With this team, what's going to carry us is our offense," Potoshnik said. Thus far, the Vikings offense has carried them to three wins, all over Emerald City League foes. After opening the season with a 25-1 win over Bush, Potoshnik's Vikings took down Cedar Park Christian 18-7 before laying a  22-1 shellacking on University Prep.

But Potoshnik knows his team will eventually need to lock down defensively to win a game, which is why he has kept his foot on the accelerator during defensive drills in practice.

"If we play defense, because we're going to hit, I don't see why we can't make the state tournament," the coach said. With the pitching staff decimated by injuries, the Vikings are still searching for arms to hold down their rotation. "We're just trying lots of guys, finding out who is a good enough athlete and who wants to pitch."

One of those guys is starting shortstop Ryan Fitzpatrick, who also hits third in the Vikings' batting order. Along with Fitzpatrick, Dewald De-Klerk and Blake Judd-Johnson will attempt to sure up the staff. Thus far, the plan appears to be working as De-Klerk and Judd-Johnson each picked up wins in the first week of the season. "A lot of times in high school baseball, it's about who wants the ball," Potoshnik said.

If the pitching and defense can continue to hold up, the Vikings should be able to ride their offensive firepower in most Emerald City League games. Non-league contests against 3A Sammamish and Eastside Catholic will give BCS a valuable opportunity to evaluate themselves against some stronger competition and prepare for the quality opponents they will match-up with during postseason play.

After making the state tournament every year from 2006-2009, Bellevue Christian missed out last season and hopes that 2011 will mark a return to the exellence they have become so accustomed to on Clyde Hill.

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