Athlete of the week: Rhodes’ performance helps Eagles soar past Victory Christian

Drew Rhodes pitches during a game earlier this season.

Editor’s note: with high school sports on hiatus, this will be our last Athlete of the Week for a while.

Andrew Rhodes is one of two Elliot Christian High baseball players who had a good day on the mound last week.

Rhodes, a sophomore, tossed a one-hitter in for the Eagles, who posted a 17-1 win over Victory Christian in a non-league game at Zupo Field on March 12. He struck out 11 batters and walked none while going the distance.

“I focused on one batter at a time,” Rhodes said. “I didn’t really think too much about it. I just did my thing.”

At the plate, Rhodes went 2-for-2 and 2 RBIs.

“They were pretty slow,” said Rhodes of the pitches that came to him at home plate. “It was, pretty much, down the middle, straight pitches. I think about the pitch sequences that they (opposing pitchers) go through, the different pitches that they go through.”

That helped Elliot Christian improve to 4-0 before its season was stopped earlier this week when its three sports teams — baseball, softball and co-ed golf – were halted because of the coronavirus/pandemic. Rhodes, along with his Eagle teammates, is hoping that they can continue their season.

“We’re doing pretty good,” Rhodes said. “We have a solid infield, but we have to work on our outfield.”

After four games, Rhodes has a .200 batting average.

Jerry Omara was the other Eagle who stood out on the hill. Three days earlier, Omara tossed a no-hitter at Victory Christian’s home field to give the Eagles a 12-0 win.

Omara, a freshman, struck out 14 batters and walked 2.

To keep his skills fresh during the Eagles’ time away from the field during the pandemic, Rhodes has been taking cuts in a batting cage in his family’s backyard. “I’ve been doing some work out there,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes has also been working on his fielding work and lifting weights at his home.

Rhodes, who has been playing baseball since age 4 that started with T-ball, plays the sport year-round. This summer, he will be playing on a travel baseball team. Last summer, he played for Catch All baseball team.

“It’s been pretty good,” said Rhodes of playing on a summer travel baseball team. “There’s been some ups and downs. I think last summer we did pretty good; we had a lot of wins in tournaments.”

Contact Mike Bush at mikeb@lodinews.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.

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