By Andrew Garda
Montclair Kimberley Academy baseball’s senior first baseman Angelo Weber is having a pretty good season. How good?
A .486 batting average with 17 hits, including four doubles and 12 RBIs while also playing excellently at first base, that’s how good.
“[Weber] handles it all so well,” Cougars coach Ralph Pacifico says of his first baseman. “He’s been one of the best captains I’ve had here in 26 years. When we make a mistake — and we make them — not letting them get too down and not letting them get too up when we’re winning.”
Weber says a lot of it is due to feeling comfortable in the lineup both at bat and in the field.
“This last year [Pacifico] put me up in the leadoff spot and I haven’t moved since. I know what my job is day in and day out and I just try to have a good approach at the plate every time,” Weber said after Monday’s 6-4 win over Cedar Grove.
Weber credits his coach for the way his play at first base has developed, and as at the plate, it’s all about preparation and focusing on what you can do, not what you can’t.
“Wherever the throw is, [I] get my footwork right, make sure I can get as far out as I can to make a play. I have trust in these guys to get the ball over to me and that’s all I ask. Just put it near the base and I’ll try to help them out as best as I can.”
Weber has been doing just that, and his play at first is helping give the infield defense a solid foundation as much as his hitting has in the batting order.
What are your plans after school? I’m not playing [baseball] in college but I am going to the University of Miami and majoring in psychology.
Do you have any post-graduation plans? “I’ll be working with Coach P this summer. It’s gonna be fun.”
What is your favorite sport? It’s definitely baseball. It’s always been my favorite sport. I can sit on the couch and watch baseball for hours, I can [come out to the field] and field ground balls for hours. It’s just something I love doing. I look forward to coming out here every day no matter how hot it is. Even today when it’s humid and 80 degrees.
What’s your favorite team? I’m a big Mets fan. Diehard Mets fan. Even after this past weekend [when pitcher Noah Syndergaard tore his pec muscle].
What music do you listen to? I’m a big country guy, actually. I love Luke Bryant, Jason Aldean — my walkup song [music played as he approaches the plate] is actually Jason Aldean. I love listening to country music, I’ll drive around with my windows down, blasting country music in my car.
Favorite class in school? Probably math. I’ve always loved numbers and it’s always been something I’ve been good at.
Favorite TV shows? Definitely “Friday Night Lights.”
Favorite movies? “Stepbrothers” and “Major League.” I just watched “Major League” the other day.
What three people would you invite to dinner? “Syndergaard, because I don’t know how someone throws the ball that hard and is that large. Adam Sandler too, because he’s one of my favorite actors. And Odell Beckham Jr. He’s an interesting guy.”
Favorite sports moment? During my sophomore year we actually made it all the way to the sectional final. I got to play the outfield that year. It was just something that I never thought, you know, coming to MKA and being a part of something like that, getting that far. And it was a blast. The guys loved it, it was fun. We were all joking around with each other and having fun. It was a great time.