Janowiak developing into tough out

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Brandywine’s Hunter Janowiak has continued to develop as a hitter in his second season on the varsity. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Brandywine’s Hunter Janowiak has continued to develop as a hitter in his second season on the varsity. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Brandywine junior Hunter Janowiak admits that football is his favorite sport over baseball.

He starts at defensive end and offensive guard for the Bobcats.

“I just love the sport and hitting people,” said Janowiak.

During one at-bat on May 19th against Centreville, Janowiak took on the personality of a football player and the baseball paid the price as Janowiak hit his second home run of the year.

“Right before I hit the homer I was kind of frustrated because of what I did on the previous pitches,” Janowiak said. “I just kind of rared back and swung and it just so happened that I hit the ball great. The wind helped a little.”

Overly aggressive swings aren’t usually a part of Janowiak’s offensive approach hitting fourth, fifth or sixth in Brandywine’s lineup. He struck out only nine times in his first 101 plate appearances.

“I just want to keep getting base hits,” Janowiak said. “Home runs are nice but it’s more important for me to just get on base and help my team out as much as I can.”

After the Centreville game Janowiak was batting .374 with seven doubles and 25 RBIs.

Brandywine baseball coach David Sidenbender likes how Janowiak in his second year starting on the varsity has developed as a hitter.

“He’s getting better at staying back and relaxing at the plate,” said Sidenbender. “He’s battling as far as getting a pitch to hit and hitting it hard. He’s getting more comfortable. I’m proud of the way he’s playing. I think he’s only going to get better.”

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Janowiak is also progressing nicely defensively playing first base.

“He’s doing a pretty good job at first base,” Sidenbender said. “He’s worked on his footwork because he knows that he’s got to get better at that to become a better first baseman. He has good hands.”

Janowiak wants to be known as a good defensive player, along with being a good hitter.

“I think I’m doing allright,” Janowiak said about his play at first base. “You have to stop everything because if you don’t it can cost you games.

“Catching balls in the dirt and scooping throws from other fielders is the toughest part of playing first base. Over the years I’ve gotten better at that.”

Janowiak wasn’t happy with how his team played defense in an 11-7 loss to Centreville. Only two of the Bulldogs’ runs were earned as the Bobcats committed seven errors.

“We didn’t do well fielding-wise,” Janowiak said. “That’s something we really need to work on.”

The loss to the Bulldogs was one of the rare bad games for Brandywine, which fell to 21-6.

Janowiak wants his team to live up to its No. 3 ranking in Division III when the district tournament gets underway May 26th.

“I’d love to see us win a district title,” Janowiak said. “I feel like we definitely have the capability to do it. I think we can go far in the state tournament.”