The Redondo Union baseball team is looking to build off of last year’s success under new head coach Andy Diver. Early returns are very promising with a No. 7 ranking in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 poll.

Their latest win came against Long Beach Wilson, 7-5, at home last Monday in the El Segundo Tournament, which improved their overall record to 6-2.

“It was a tough game, but a good win,” said Redondo Union senior Theo Forshey. “Christian Dicochea had a clutch RBI single.”

Brett McCauley led the Sea Hawks with two doubles and five RBI’s.

Back for year two is Diver, who led the team to a 18-9 record overall and 8-2 mark in the Bay League.

“I am excited about the potential of this year’s team,” Diver said. “We have seniors throughout our lineup, and in key spots at shortstop and on the mound.”

Five players on the team have committed to play in college so far. Forshey (UC Santa Barbara), McCauley (Oregon), Jake Thau (Kansas), Andrew Dalquist (Arizona) and Christian Dicochea (Washington).

It all starts with the pitching and Redondo Union’s one-two punch from the pitcher’s mound, Jake Thau and Andrew Dalquist, are both seniors.

“The starting pitching will be our strength,” Diver said. “All-Bay League returners Drew Dalquist and Jake Thau will anchor the staff and be heavily relied on.”

Thau is an imposing figure on the mound while Dalquist is the shorter one but has similar talent.

“It’s always fun playing behind these guys,” Dicochea said. “They always give it their best. It’s fun to play defense behind those guys. One or two runs and you know you are going to win.”

Both pitchers throw their fastball in the low to mid 90s. At the high school level, that gets a lot of outs.

“Location definitely wins, if you can spot your fastball,” Dalquist said.

“Over the summer I did a lot of working out with my trainer,” said Thau, who improved his conditioning.

The two pitchers are talented and make each other better.

“We have fun feeding off each other,” Dalquist said. “We’re just trying to help each other improve.”

Diver talked about his go-to players on offense.

“This year’s team will be led offensively by seniors Christian Dicochea, shortstop, and Theo Forshey third base. Look for major contributions from juniors Liam Critchett (first base) and Brett McCauley (centerfield).”

Dicochea is a three-year starter and first team All-Bay League, All-Area performer and is a presence on the field and at the plate. He was Redondo Union “Athlete of the Year.” He along with McCauley, drives the offense.

“We’re kind of the major components of our offense,” said Dicochea of his bat along with McCauley’s.

Both are hitting over .400.

Defensively, Redondo Union is consistently good up to this point and should not expect anything different through the season.

Right now, the two areas where the team is looking to improve is their offensive output and their bullpen.

“As long as we figure out one of them I figure we have a good shot,” Thau said. “If we can figure out both of them it would be amazing. That would make a huge difference.”

“Both are definitely coming around,” Dalquist said.

To date, their best win is over Torrance.

“We bounced back really strong after a tough loss against San Pedro the night before,” Forshey said. “We came out with a lot of intensity and got a good win.”

The team is more comfortable with Diver now in year two.

“Last year most of us were getting the feel for coach,” Forshey said. “This year we already understand what he is about. He pushes us to do the best that we can and I’m optimistic and I think we will do really good and make a deep run (in the playoffs).”

“Our senior class is really strong,” Dicochea said. “The team is really fun. We all get along.”

Diver and this year’s team will battle Mira Costa for Bay League supremacy. Last year the two teams split, but Redondo Union fell one game short in the league race.

“I think we have a good shot of competing against Mira Costa, Palos Verdes and Peninsula,” Dalquist said.

“This year’s team is off to a good start and is excited to continue to work hard each day while staying focused on doing their job,” Diver said.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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