By Nicole Alvarez
By Nicole Alvarez
The Tiger’s defense relies heavily on two rookie pitchers: Tommy Hanson and David Quinowski.
Hanson is the starting pitcher for Riverside Community College and Quinowski is the back up pitcher.
These two lead the team in strike outs, which helps the defense keep the score down.
But these pitchers’ hard work doesn’t end at the pitcher’s mound. Quinowski also hits in the number seven spot. He has a batting average of .258 and has scored in 22 of the 25 games played. He is in the top five on his team with 97 at bats, 11 runs, 25 hits and 11 RBI’s. Hanson started playing baseball with his friends at the age of five and liked it, so his parents signed him up for little league. Quinowski’s mother got him started at the age of three where she signed him up for Pony; this is not little league.
“It was fairly easy for my mother to support me because I don’t have any siblings; she was at almost every game as I was growing up,” Quinowski said.
“I have one older sister and two younger sisters and they were into volleyball, but they didn’t play it as often as I played baseball, so my parents were able to show their support at my games as I was growing up,” Hanson said.
The baseball careers of Hanson and Quinowski were influenced by a few people throughout their lives.
“My high school coach Bob Ramirez wanted me to play harder,” said Quinowski. “He taught me how to have fun, yet kept me focused.”Hanson on the other hand, was strongly influenced by his parents.
“They taught me never to quit. They taught me that if I set a goal, I should reach it. Never give up,” Hanson said.
Getting drafted to the Giants in the 46th round out of high school is by far the most memorable moment of Quinowski’s baseball career thus far.
“He even had a no hitter in 2004 at Redlands East Valley High School and didn’t even know it,” said Quinowski’s mother, Anna Duarte.
High competition in the Orange Empire Conference League is what each of the two pitchers had been looking forward to this season. Both Hanson and Quinowski agreed that strong coaching staff and a good program is what brought them to RCC.
“Batting is hard because we are hitting against good pitchers. Trying to get my art is hard because I have to position the ball on where I want it to go, and it’s not that easy,” said Quinowski.
“I had a scholarship to Sac State and didn’t take it because the intensity wasn’t that good. The baseball program here (RCC) shows more intensity and just a better overall program,” said Hanson.
“From the beginning Tommy was always a step above and I am glad he chose a school close to home. We heard good things about Dennis (Rogers) and I am looking forward to watching him pursue his Major League goals,” said Tommy’s mother, Cindy Hanson.
“Ever since he was little, baseball has always been his dream and passion, so I hope to see him in the Major Leagues,” Duarte said.From the beginning of the season to now Hanson and Quinowski have improved as far as throwing harder. They have done this by staying conditioned and lifting weights. They have also improved on their mechanics and their change ups.
“I am very pleased with the experience here at RCC. This has been a fun year and a good group of guys to be around,” Hanson said.
Having to win the rest of their games to make playoffs is not easy to look forward to, “but we can do it,” said Quinowski.
“Playoffs are in my eyes. We need to make every situation count. Not look forward, think just one at a time,” Hanson said.