Baseball: Biersdorff, Hill back in rhythm

The Balers' Tyler Biersdorff, left, and Matt Hill have been playing at a high level in the last several games.

Matt Hill and Tyler Biersdorff both had their fair share of adversity earlier in the season. Hill went through stretches where he struggled offensively, and Biersdorff couldn’t even bat due to tendinitis in his left hand.
But the two seniors are back on track, boding well for a San Benito High team that entered the week a half-game up on Palma in the Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division standings. In a 6-2 win over Monte Vista Christian on April 22, Hill went 2 for 3 and Biersdorff had another excellent defensive game at catcher.
Biersdorff said the team’s 8-1 win over Christopher on April 19 was a pivotal moment for the squad.
“I think it was a breakout game for the team,” said Biersdorff, who went 2 for 4 in the contest with three RBIs. “It was the first time we scored over four runs in nine games, and the first time I got to hit in three weeks to a month. I’m feeling good and confident at the plate.”
So is Hill, who changed his approach midway through the season to get back on track.
“I’m focusing on staying inside the baseball and going the opposite way,” said Hill, who had a grand slam and earned the win on the mound with three innings of one-run relief in a victory over Christopher on April 21. “Coach Billy (Aviles) and I talked about having a plan at the plate, and it’s been working for me.”
Speaking of a plan, Balers ace Diego Fisher certainly knows how to attack hitters every time he’s on the mound. Against MVC, Fisher gave up two first-inning runs, an ominous sign considering he was coming off his only subpar outing of the season against Palma on April 15.
Fisher gave up seven hits and five runs in 2 2/3 innings against Palma, but everyone expected him to come back strong. And that’s exactly what Fisher did.
“Diego is our ace, and he showed why today,” Hill said. “You’ve got to give it up to our pitchers—they’ve been keeping us in games. If they keep rolling, I see us going far.”
Said Biersdorff: “Even if Diego has a bad start, he finds a way through it. He’s our ace and I love catching him.”
The 6-foot-3 Fisher was lights-out after allowing two runs in the opening inning against MVC. The left-hander utilized his curveball and fastball with devastating results, yielding just three hits while striking out six over six innings.
“The first inning was a little shaky and rough, and I knew I had to shake it off,” Fisher said. “You can’t let the other team see you sweat. I knew the team was going to have my back, and I just had to go out and execute.”
Although Fisher had a solid season in 2015, he’s taken things up a couple of notches this season. The extra year of experience has made the difference.
“I know what’s going to be asked of me and I know what’s going to happen,” he said. “So if anything bad happens, I should know how to carry myself and hold it together.”
Fisher, who received only one at-bat last year, has been mashing at the plate this season. He had a game-high three hits at his customary No. 2 spot in the lineup. The burly Hill has been a mainstay at third base, making all of the plays, riding a hot bat and excelling on the mound.
In short, the versatile Hill has done everything but rake the infield. Check that, there was Hill raking the infield after the win over MVC. Biersdorff is a reliable catcher who can gun down even the fastest base runners trying to steal a base. A standout defensive football player, Biersdorff has always played the game with emotion and passion.
But he’s even more thankful and stronger now after his mom, Carole, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells, last year. Thankfully, Carole’s cancer is in remission, and Tyler is forever grateful.
“She’s doing great right now,” he said. “There are still days you can tell she’s a little bit weaker, but she’s my inspiration. Her situation has helped me lately. While it was happening, it was hard having to see my mom go through something like that. But seeing her fight everyday for her life became my inspiration to keep doing well and go on no matter what you face.”
Baseball has such a rich tradition in Hollister, with kids growing up playing in the same Hollister Little League. Eventually, the players that are the best of the bunch star at San Benito High, where much is expected from them.
“We’re quite fortunate to come to a high school where baseball is expected to be played at a high level,” Biersdorff said. “We’re taught that when we’re younger. We’ve all known each other for our whole lives, and that makes playing together now all the more special.”

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