Q&A-- Tim Mierzwa, Reservoir, baseball

May 02, 2007

In his first year on varsity, Reservoir junior second baseman Tim Mierzwa said he was plenty nervous coming into the season. You wouldn't have noticed. Batting third in the order, Mierzwa is hitting .386 for the season with nine RBIs and 12 runs scored, and playing consistent defense. After a 4-13 season last spring, the Gators took an 11-5 mark into the week with their sights set on an extended run in the playoffs. Mierzwa, who has played baseball since he was 5, is a member of the National Honor Society and has a 4.0 grade-point average.

What have been the team's keys to success this season?

We have great pitching, great defense and timely hitting. And we also don't have the one superstar that has to carry the team. Everybody plays an important role and, if one player isn't having a good game, the rest of the team steps up and carries the role.

What has been the biggest adjustment going from junior varsity to varsity this spring?

Hitting has been the hardest part. The pitching is a lot better, so I just really worked hard on my hitting in the offseason and it's worked out so far. I lifted weights to get stronger, took a lot of batting practice against faster pitching. The pitchers here have greater velocity, better movement, better curveballs and changeups.

What was the experience like playing in your first varsity game?

It was a little nerve-racking because I was hitting third in the lineup and I'd never done that before in my life, so I didn't know how I was going to do against the better pitching. It was against Howard and I ended up going 1-for-3 and I started the rally in the last inning to help us win the game.

How did that at-bat go?

They brought in a new pitcher and he threw me a fastball right down the middle and I hit it right back at him up the middle. It showed me that I can hit and belonged there. We were down one run and we came back to score two to win the game.

GLENN GRAHAM

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