Northeast Times

Everybody hits: Washington baseball finds its stride

  • Sophomore Eddie Tingle has given Washington baseball a boost on the mound and in the middle of the order. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

  • Junior first baseman Ishmael Bracy has brought some thunder to Washington’s lineup. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

Ish­mael Bracy said that when his team is hit­ting, it’s con­ta­gious. If so, the rest of the Pub­lic League could get very sick.

Bracy, George Wash­ing­ton’s ju­ni­or first base­man, was speak­ing fol­low­ing his team’s 11-1 win last Wed­nes­day over Phil­adelphia Academy Charter, a game in which the Eagles poun­ded out 18 hits and sent 11 men to the plate in two of the con­test’s five in­nings. 

Des­pite los­ing feared hit­ter and 2013 Pub­lic League MVP Jake Wright to gradu­ation, this Wash­ing­ton team can hit.

And hit. And hit some more.

“Once one of us gets a hit or gets on base, we all seem to find our swing,” said Bracy, who went 3-for-4 and scored three runs in the win over PACS. “It feels won­der­ful to be win­ning, be­cause los­ing keeps a bad taste in my mouth. We want to keep this go­ing.”

As the Times went to press, the Eagles stood at 7-1 in the Pub­lic League A Di­vi­sion, a game-and-a-half be­hind first place Frank­lin Towne Charter (9-0). Since their lone di­vi­sion loss to Prep Charter on April 9, the Eagles have scored 9, 12, 10, 11 and 12 runs in their games, all wins. Head coach Ken Geiser’s team is try­ing to stay hot and win as many games as pos­sible be­fore the May 9 reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Towne.

“We have a lot of heart and we play hard,” Bracy said. “It boosts our con­fid­ence to put up runs fast and quick. When you put your bat on the ball, any­thing can hap­pen. We’re hungry, and we want to win a Pub­lic League cham­pi­on­ship. If not, it’s a fail­ure of a sea­son. What’s the point of play­ing if you’re not go­ing for the big one?”

Bracy wasn’t the only one who had his hands all over the de­moli­tion of PACS. Ed­die Tingle, the lone sopho­more on G.W. as well as Bracy’s team­mate for the Liberty Bell Youth Or­gan­iz­a­tion, pitched five in­nings of one-run ball in the place of top pitch­er Ro­ger Han­son, who was rest­ing an ankle in­jury. Tingle also got Wash­ing­ton’s sev­en-run third star­ted by snap­ping out of a slump with an in­field single to third base. 

“We’re a hit­ting ball club, so I al­ways have faith in my team,” Tingle said. “I was able to settle in and find my groove on the mound, which the of­fense made really easy for me. I didn’t get to play a whole lot last year as a fresh­man, so I wanted to do my dam­age this year. Jake Wright isn’t here any­more, so I just want to prove my­self to this ball club that I can play.”

While Tingle played spar­ingly as a fresh­man, Bracy didn’t play at all last year as a sopho­more after trans­fer­ring to Wash­ing­ton from South Philly. Geiser had Bracy in his gym class, and his as­sist­ant, Craig Sharp, had seen Bracy play first base at Liberty Bell. Play­ing to­geth­er on two teams has made this sea­son even more en­joy­able for Bracy and Tingle, who met play­ing base­ball for Liberty Bell as young­sters.

“That’s my best friend right here,” Bracy said. “I’ve been watch­ing him play since he was 7 or 8 years old, so it’s no sur­prise to me to see him do­ing well. I’ve al­ways seen his po­ten­tial. When he’s giv­en a spot, he takes the spot­light. He’s a good friend, a good per­son and a good hu­man be­ing. There aren’t too many people out there like that.”

“We met on the dia­mond and we’re here to­geth­er on the dia­mond, and I think that says a lot,” Tingle said. “There’s a strong bond between us, and I think you see it on and off the field. We work to­geth­er, and we’re here for the team.”

With the con­tin­ued pro­duc­tion of play­ers like Tingle and Bracy — as well as pro­gram vet­er­ans like Han­son, third base­man Scott Si­ley, out­field­er/four-year starter John San­tos, des­ig­nated hit­ter Pat Far­rell and catch­er Gil­ad Metro, among oth­ers — Wash­ing­ton be­lieves it can be a ser­i­ous con­tender in the rugged A Di­vi­sion.

“Men­tally, these guys are good,” Geiser said. “It doesn’t sur­prise me that we’ve hit the ball the way we have, be­cause we put a lot of work in­to it. We still have things we need to work on, though. We nev­er settle.”

“I be­lieve the way we’re hit­ting and throw­ing the ball, we should be a force to be reckoned with,” Bracy ad­ded. “I’m feel­ing a deep play­off run.” ••

You can reach at emorrone@bsmphilly.com.

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