Hot bats leading Sewickley Academy baseball to fast start

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Saturday, April 17, 2021 | 11:01 AM


The fence at James E. Swartz Memorial Field in Freeport went up three days before St. Joseph and Sewickley Academy faced off April 13 in a Section 3-A matchup, and it didn’t take long for Panthers shortstop Adin Zorn to christen it.

Zorn was 5 for 5 at the plate, drove in seven runs, hit three doubles, and added one monster grand slam to give the Panthers their first section victory of the season, 14-6.

“He’s really been on fire this season, and I do think that he’s an exceptional talent both defensively and offensively,” Sewickley Academy co-head coach Anthony Garofalo said. “I mean he’s a true hitter, and I think he’ll be doing that the entire year.”

Zorn is just one of several players who has helped Sewickley Academy get off to a hot start in 2021. In four games, the young sophomore is hitting .643 and has driven in 12 runs as the Panthers have jumped out to a 3-1 start, scoring six or more runs in three of their four games.

Senior Hudson Bordeau has also been big for the Panthers, driving in four runs in two games while tallying five hits, one triple, and two home runs. Six players, including Zorn and Bordeau, are hitting over .300. Garofalo said their mentality has been a key reason why.

“I felt like the team had a different objective this season,” Garofalo said. “I think they wanted to be a part of something different, a change of what Sewickley Academy has been like in the past couple of years. They had a goal to just be a better team and not just be another roll-over win for other teams.”

The Panthers haven’t had a winning season since 2017, and they are out to change the perception around the program this season; so far, they’ve done just that.

Their only loss came against Class 2A Shady Side Academy, which has also jumped out to a 3-1 start, and they’ve been playing both solid defense and getting contributions from across the board. Eight players have driven in at least one run and four have tallied five or more hits.

“Hudson and Adin are going to be our main guys on offense; they are going to be our main production, but I like our lineup,” Garofalo said. “With experience, we are getting better and guys like Nick Madison and James Long have already shown that growth, along with Sajen Schuchert.”

Garofalo said in addition to having success at the plate, the defense has performed well at times. He’s just waiting for his team to put everything together.

“I think sometimes we can be lackadaisical and not really get out to a good start, but I think we have everything that we need to win games,” Garofalo said. “We can pitch when we have to, we can field, our defense has been pretty good, and we can hit. So, it’s all about just putting those three things together and getting to the field and seeing if we have all three things on any given day.”

Freshman Jordan Smith and Schuchert have been eating up innings on the mound. Smith has thrown nine innings and allowed two earned runs and three hits. Schuchert has thrown 813 innings and has allowed nine hits and seven earned runs.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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