As Bishop Ireton senior Scott Schwartz rounded first base after collecting his fourth hit and sixth RBI in a 15-0 six-inning win at No. 8 Flint Hill on Thursday, the Cardinals’ dugout erupted with cries of “You’re not human!” and an admiringly sarcastic call of, “He must work out a lot.”
That remark was a good-natured jab at Schwartz’s propensity for healthy living, whether it be his four to six daily protein shakes, his Greek yogurt habit or his kettlebell workouts at his local gym, a place where Ireton Coach Mike Gallagher has to dispatch spies to make sure Schwartz isn’t overdoing it on the weights.
Whatever Schwartz is doing, it’s working. He was a triple shy of the cycle against Flint Hill and has three homers in his past four games. A recent adjustment at the plate — loosening his hands a bit — started him on a torrid pace. He was on deck when the Cardinals made their final out in the top of the sixth inning.
Schwartz might be blending protein shakes for 20 if he keeps this up. In discussing his nutrition, he sounds like the exercise science major that he likely will be at Guilford (N.C.) College.
“I’ll have eggs in the morning with orange juice, because orange juice gives you energy through the carbs and your body needs protein in the morning to stop the anabolic phase that you’re in when you’re sleeping,” said Schwartz, who gained 20 pounds of “good weight” since August, to reach 175 pounds. “So it’s like when you go to bed you’re fasting and your body is breaking down your muscle and your fat, so you want to get protein in so it stops breaking down your muscle and you maintain it. A lot of people are in protein deficiency, so I make sure I maintain my protein in my body.”
What the Cardinals broke down Thursday was Flint Hill pitchers. They banged out 15 hits, with five doubles and Schwartz’s two-run homer, off four hurlers, with 10 of the runs coming in the fifth and sixth innings.
Juniors Senior Corey Phillips and junior Joe Bagnerise each had two doubles and senior John Todd and freshman Robert Corallo also had two hits each.
“Scott put in a lot of work in the offseason getting bigger, getting stronger,” said Gallagher, who has batted Schwartz anywhere from cleanup to seventh, and fifth Thursday. “What we saw in his swing is that it really made him kind of stiff as he got a little bigger and it slowed his bat speed down. But in the last couple weeks, he’s really been using his hands and getting the barrel out in front.”
It’s hard to figure Ireton (9-9) though. The Cardinals scored 19 runs on McNamara last Thursday, one run against DeMatha on Saturday, got no-hit against Paul VI Catholic on Tuesday and then erupted at Flint Hill, a team that had allowed only 28 runs all season.
“Our pitching and defense have been fairly consistent, but [we] don’t know if we’re going to show up offensively or not from day to day,” Gallagher said.
Ireton senior Cody Hagenston allowed only three hits in five innings. He struck out six Huskies (12-3) and walked two.
As for Schwartz, he usually sticks to his regimen. But when he wants a treat, he reaches for chocolate chip cookies and milk, or buttery popcorn. Perhaps washed down with a protein shake.