One game can’t define Jack Herman’s baseball career, but in his most recent one, he was able to showcase all his varied skills in seven highlight-reel innings.
It was a microcosm of the career for Eastern’s hit king, who now has 142 hits and counting.
Herman reached bases all four times, with two walks and an RBI double and triple. He made a sensational catch in center field that he or any other player really had no business tracking down.
And then for good measure, he pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in Eastern’s 10-6 victory over Clearview in a Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic quarterfinal at Deptford.
Eastern (22-6) will face Washington Township in the semifinals at 1 p.m. Sunday at Deptford, with the winner advancing to the final at 5 p.m. at Eastern (weather permitting).
A few questions with Eastern CF-P Jack Herman after he hit a double and triple and got the win in relief in a 10-6 Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic quarterfinal win over Clearview pic.twitter.com/yjZduptUPd
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) May 26, 2018
Herman clearly has all of his focus on his high school season and not the Major League Baseball draft next month, even though there is a good chance his name will be called.
“If you didn’t know that Jack Herman was a great baseball player, just watch this game,” Eastern coach Rob Christ said.
Actually, most people know he is a great player, including MLB teams.
Herman has been in the spotlight for so long, it seems he has been at Eastern for more than four years. Maybe it was because he committed to Maryland in his freshman year.
He still plans to attend Maryland, but the draft, which will take place June 4-6, could change his plans.
“I think about it a little bit, and it has been a long time coming, and it is a dream come true if it happens. But when it is over, it will be a little pressure off my back,” Herman said of the draft.
The 6-foot, 197-pound Herman hasn’t let the pressure get to him. He recently worked out in front of three major-league teams at Eastern. Word is he crushed the ball while using a wooden bat.
His true character and that of his team were on display Saturday. Eastern, the No. 1 seed in the South Jersey Group 4 tournament, was eliminated in a 6-4 loss on Thursday to Shawnee.
It was a credit to Herman and his Eastern teammates that they help their heads high and kept fighting.
“A lot of teams lose in the sectionals and figure the season is over,” Herman said. “That is not our mentality. If we have another game left, I don’t care if it is a makeup game and not even a conference game, we are balling out there and trying to get the W.”
Trailing, 6-5, Eastern used a five-run sixth inning to defeat the Pioneers (13-9). Herman’s RBI double tied the score and the Vikings also got an RBI single by Matt Karpousis, a two-run triple by Ron Silvestro, and an RBI single by Isaac Fendrick.
Herman, who got the final out in the sixth, then pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. Before coming in to pitch in the sixth, he robbed Brett Yurgin of extra bases with a sensational running catch.
“He made that catch in center field, he got big hits, and he came in threw 90 miles per hour, which we haven’t seen all year,” Clearview coach Rolando Gautier said. “The kid is good, and we wish him good luck in the upcoming draft.”
Despite all the attention about the draft, Herman has never allowed it to get in the way when he put on the Eastern uniform.
As a youngster, he used to watch his older brother Kris play and, even at age 7, he would have Christ hit him grounders. The affinity for the program grew even more.
“When I got here, I couldn’t wait to make an impact,” he said.
It didn’t take him long to make that impact. It will take Vikings fans much longer to get over not seeing him play, once his stellar career finally comes to an end.
Clearview 030 300 0 – 6 9 3
Eastern 003 205 x – 10 8 1
WP: Jack Herman. LP: Ethan Ziegler. 2B: E-Jack Herman, Dylan Stezzi. 3B: E-Jack Herman, Ron Silestro 2. HR: C-Brandon Drapeau