Fosdick Cousins Lead Hazelwood West to the Top of Suburban North Conference

Known better for their pitching talents, cousins Brendan and Jared Fosdick have also been dynamite at the plate for the Wildcats this season.

Winning on the baseball diamond has become a family affair at .

Head coach Matt McClellan is the brother of St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher , who also attended Hazelwood West and graduated in 2002.

Last year's star player was , a speedy outfielder and two-time all-conference selection for the Wildcats, just like his older brother Nate was a few years ago.

And this season, it's a pair of cousins, Brendan and Jared Fosdick, that has led Hazelwood West to a 7-4 record and to within a half-game of first place in the Suburban North Conference standings this season.

"It's great having them on the team," McClellan said. "They're an important part of what we do, and they're good leaders for the younger guys we have."

What's been really impressive regarding the Fosdick cousins, who both pitched impressively for the Wildcats last season, is what they've done at the plate this year.

Brendan Fosdick, a senior righthander who made the all-conference team as a pitcher last year, despite missing significant time due to injury, is leading West in hitting this season, with a .429 batting average.

And Jared Fosdick, the younger cousin and a junior lefthander for the Wildcats, barely had 20 at-bats last season.

But this year, he's in the lineup whether he's pitching or not, and has a scorching .385 batting average and leads West in runs batted in.

"He's really been working on his hitting," McClellan said. "The whole team has, but Jared's really improved his stroke.

"He had some good at-bats, and he's really got some confidence in himself now."

And that confidence really showed back on April 3, when Jared Fosdick had three hits and drove in four runs, as West came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat archrival Hazelwood Central and star pitcher Jonathan Harris, 9-4, in a critical early-season Suburban North game.

No matter how hot their bats are, one thing the Fosdick cousins will always be best known for is their pitching abilities.

And right now, other than each other, nobody in North County is pitching better than Brendan and Jared Fosdick.

Brendan has a perfect record at 2-0, and leads the Suburban North with a 1.14 ERA, while Jared's 3-1 record gives him the most wins, to go with his 1.62 ERA, and conference-best 40 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched.

"They've both been great this year," McClellan said. "We're really counting on (Brendan)."

MCClellan said as a senior, Brendan is kind of the leader of the pitching staff.

"And Jared's had some good games too," he said. "He threw a no-hitter the other day against Ritenour.

"We feel good when we have either one of them on the mound."

Brendan was actually in line to pick up his third win last , but he had to leave that game early with a back injury.

Pattonville in extra innings to grab sole possession of first place in the Suburban North.

This week, if Brendan is able to throw, both Fosdick cousins are expected to take the mound, as West has three big games on three straight days.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats will play a rematch game on the road against Ritenour, followed by a non-conference home game against 10-5 Ft. Zumwalt West on Wednesday. A Suburban North home game against McCluer on Thursday will follow.

"We try not to look too far ahead," McClellan said. "We try to just play the game in front of us, and only worry about that one game.

"That's just how we do it, and it's been working for us so far."

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