HNT IN THE SPOTLIGHT- CODY PACE
Senior shortstop Cody Pace has settled into his role as the Spotswood High School baseball team's leadoff hitter quite nicely.
Pace, who has batted from a run-producing spot in the lineup for much of his brilliant career, leads the Greater Middlesex Conference with 21 walks and a .723 on-base percentage.
Despite recording 24 hits and getting hit twice by pitches to reach base an incredible 47 times in 66 plate appearances, Pace, who has moved himself into scoring position with 10 stolen bases, has scored just 20 runs.
"Batting leadoff, he does not get the same kind of RBI opportunities that we would like him to get out of a three-hole, but I think his teammates are now starting to sense a little urgency and they are going to start to pick it up," Spotswood coach Glenn Fredricks said. "They're going to start to follow his lead."
Pace has hit safely in all but three games. Opponents have clearly pitched around Pace in those contests, walking him a total of eight times.
The team captain ranks second in the GMC in batting average (.585), just 15 points behind league leader Tommy Marcinczyk. He also boasts a .902 slugging percentage with nine extra-base hits.
As a pitcher, Pace owns a 2-1 record with a 1.88 ERA. He has fanned 21 batters in 18 2/3 innings. Pace was used as a closer last year, but has started most of the time this season.
"As a starter he's been lights out," Fredricks said. "He doesn't walk anybody and he's very effective with his pitches. When you have a fastball and command of your curveball, you don't have to waste many pitches."
The Chargers own a deceptive 7-8 record but proved they can play with some of the league's better teams by defeating Bishop Ahr and Edison.
"If we play our best baseball, which we haven't done yet, I think we are in a position to make a run in the state or county tournament," Fredricks said.