Hanover Central excels behind battery duo of brothers Evan and Sam Momcilovic
By Mike Hutton-Post-Tribune
Hanover Central’s Evan Momcilovic has been pitching to his brother, Sam, for as long as he can remember.
Those memories are going to fade into the sunset, and both are determined to make their senior year the best season.ADVERTISING
“I’ve been pitching to him my whole life,” Evan said. “He understands me more than anyone I know. It’s been fun.”
Said Sam, a three-year starter at catcher for the Wildcats: “We have good chemistry. I trust him when he shakes me off. We just know each other so well.”
This isn’t just a feel-good story about two kids who happen to play on the same high school team.
Evan and Sam are key players for Hanover Central (7-0, 5-2).
Sam is batting .550, and Hanover Central coach Ryan Bridges said Evan is his best pitcher.
Bridges is using Evan as an “opener,” which means he brings him into the game at pivotal moments.
In five appearances, Evan hasn’t allowed a run in 10 innings. He also has struck out 14 without a walk. He has one save.
Evan, who also plays second base, bats in the leadoff spot. He’s hitting .409.
He said he likes his new role. He mostly pitched as a starter last season.
“He tells me I might be throwing today,” Evan said of Bridges. “It just depends on how the game is going. I like coming later in the game.”
The Momcilovic brothers are triplets. They have a sister, Ana.
Bridges believes the rapport between Evan and Sam has helped Evan the most.
“Evan is a sidearmer whose ball has a lot of movement,” Bridges said. “It’s just comfortable for him to have Sam back there. They are usually on the same page with pitch selection.”
Sam is adept at handling all of Hanover Central’s pitchers.
Bridges said one of the Wildcats’ pitchers shook off Sam, who calls his own games, a couple of times last Saturday against the No. 8 hitter.
Sam walked out to the mound, “chewed him out” and told him to get something over the plate, according to Bridges.
He did and retired the batter.
“He’s caught a lot of games,” Bridges said of Sam. “He knows what he’s doing back there.”
Sam has also improved at the plate this season. He hit .270 last year.
Bridges said Sam used to pull out of pitches.
He’s cut down on that.
“He’s really made solid contact,” Bridges said. “He’s made some adjustments.”
Sam said his hitting improvement has more to do with his outlook.
“I’m definitely seeing it better,” he said. “I’m more comfortable this year. Honestly, a big reason is that it’s my last year and I don’t feel the pressure.”