By Michael Moroney ’13
Two-year varsity starting pitcher Michael Westra ’13 got the hang of the playoff baseball environment quicker than most during his junior season.
During the Brophy baseball team’s playoff run to the state championship game last year, Westra started two games in wins for the Broncos.
“We had a stacked team last year with plenty of college talent,” said head baseball coach Mr. Tom Succow. “But he was one of the top two or three pitchers throughout the season.”
Westra started his first ever playoff game as a varsity player against Desert Ridge last May. He pitched into the seventh inning and was the winning pitcher in Brophy’s 2-1 victory.
Westra also started the losers’ bracket championship game against Mesquite and pitched five innings for Brophy’s 9-3 win. The win sent the Broncos to the state championship game against Chaparral.
This valuable experience from his junior season has translated to early season success for Westra in 2013.
“I have pitched pretty well so far in my two starts. I have a 1-1 record beating Kofa, but losing to Ironwood in a heartbreaker,” Westra said.
Westra led the Broncos to victory in their opening game this season. His five innings of work allowed just one run and Brophy went on to win 5-1 over Kofa in the first game of the Adam Donnfield tournament.
“The team has struggled to produce offensively this year, but Michael has been consistent as ever,” Mr. Succow said.
In his two years as a contributing varsity pitcher, Westra said he has stayed consistent in his mechanics, but has changed his overall baseball mindset.
“I haven’t changed so much as a pitcher, but as a teammate,” Westra said. “Varsity ball is much more competitive than JV, which has helped me to learn that the first priority is the team over myself.”
Early in his senior year, Westra committed to play Division I college baseball at Santa Clara, joining former teammate and Brophy pitcher Jake Steffens ’12.