Saline senior Sean O’Keefe is in the midst of a record breaking season for the Hornet varsity baseball team.
O’Keefe’s walk-off home run to clinch the mercy-rule victory over Skyline Wednesday was his 10th of the season. That ties Mark Weist for the Saline record for home runs in a season.
“We had a man on second and we needed that last run. I saw a fastball, first pitch. I just threw my hands at it and good things happen,” said O’Keefe, who’ll play baseball at Western Michigan University next year.
O’Keefe said it was relief to hit the 10th home run. He credited Weist’s coaching for helping him with his power hitting.
“He non-stop helped me. He put in the work with me. Even though I was approaching the record, he didn’t care,” O’Keefe said.
He also thanked the rest of the coaching staff and teammates for their constant support.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe has been a varsity baseball (and football) player since his sophomore year. Coach Scott Theisen said O’Keefe’s approach at the plate continues to get better.
“He’s doing a better job handling poor at bats. Last year if he struck out in his first at bat, he might have carried that around a little bit and let it affect the rest of his game,” Theisen said. “We saw today Sean struck out early but he came back and had an RBI single and the home run that ended the game. So his improvement is encouraging.”
O’Keefe also had a great game behind the plate, picking off a running trying to steal second and another runner leaning too far of first base.