Entering his freshman year at Trinity Classical Academy, senior baseball player Andrew Pfeiffer had never really given pitching much thought. Thanks to his former head coach Tommy Kister, who saw the potential in him, Pfeiffer was able to find his niche on the baseball team as a lethal pitcher/hitter combo.
It was this experimentation and versatility that allowed Pfeiffer to become one of the most dominant arms and hitters in the Heritage League over the course of his four-year high school career, culminating in a 2019 All CIF-Southern Section Division 6 First Team selection.
“For one, Coach Kister way back in freshman year, started me out pitching, and I didn’t really pitch much before this,” Pfeiffer said. “Having coach move me around the batting order and experiment with me at third base, some shortstop, second base and first base, I mean, it was really the coaches that forced me to be a more well-rounded player because they knew that would be better for me in the long run.”
On the mound, Pfeiffer was an elite talent in Division 6, finishing the 2018-19 season with the second lowest earned run average in Division 6 (0.73). He went 6-2, throwing three complete games, 73 strikeouts in 57.2 innings of work, according to MaxPreps.com.
Pfeiffer was top four on the team in almost every hitting category with a .406 batting average on 26 hits, 20 RBIs, two home runs and 18 runs scored in 64 at-bats this season. He even showed his speed, successfully stealing 5-of-6 bases.
Even though he excels at both pitching and hitting, the former has the ability to really get him excited.
“It probably feels better to be on fire when you’re on the mound because you have that feeling of being untouchable and everything is working that day,” Pfeiffer said. “I would have to say pitching is more fun. It is high-pressure and I enjoy that, I always have.”
The Knights began the season with a five-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 55-5, defeating Milken and St. Monica Academy along the way.
The Knights win streak came to an end as they lost the next three games to Pacifica Christian, St. Monica Academy and Foothill Tech. This didn’t sit well with Pfeiffer and the rest of the team, so the players called a ‘players only’ meeting.
“It was a humbling moment, but it also enabled us to see our weaknesses on the field and in our character,” Pfeiffer said. “In between that span, where we lost three games, we had a players only meeting to really figure out what was up with the team and come back with a stronger team character than before.”
Trinity went on to win the final nine of 10 regular-season games, recording the program’s first-ever win against Heritage League rival Faith Baptist 2-1 in the final game.
The Knights advanced to the CIF-SS Division 6 playoffs facing off against Gladstone, the Mountview League’s third-place finisher. Down three-runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and facing elimination, Pfeiffer helmed the Knights’ comeback leading off the inning with a single.
The Knights went on to win 6-5 to stave off elimination and advance to the second round.
“Sure there’s pressure, more pressure than normal, but as players you don’t necessarily feel that because we were out there having fun and it showed in that first game,” Pfeiffer said of the playoff atmosphere. “That’s the reason why we were able to comeback from a three-run deficit facing elimination. It was great.”
Trinity’s season and Pfeiffer’s high school career came to an end in the next game, falling 6-5 to El Monte.
Playing for each other, Pfeiffer never doubted the team’s ability as they were much closer than just teammates in a school that has about 200 students.
“You really share everything with these guys when you’re at a school like Trinity. It’s a school of only 200 kids so the guys on your team are the guys in your classes and the guys you see in the hallways no matter what, they are your brothers,” Pfeiffer said. “It’s really a blessing to have played alongside my best friends for the past four years and that’s something that I don’t think you can get elsewhere.”
Over the course of four years at Trinity, Pfeiffer exits with a .478 batting average, 99 hits and 79 RBIs in 207 at-bats. On the mound the right-handed pitcher finished winning 21 games, a 1.36 ERA and 229 strikeouts in 185 innings of work.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank all the guys on the team … I mean baseball is a sport with nine guys, and whether it’s pitching or hitting, everybody is rooting for each other at the same time,” Pfeiffer said. “My success on the mound and at the plate has only been because of the guys pulling alongside me to work towards something higher.
“I’m incredibly blessed and humbled to play alongside my brother, Luke, for the last two seasons. Some of the greatest memories of my life, that I know will continue to be the greatest memories of my life that I will cherish forever, have been playing ball with him. I’m truly grateful for that.”