The 2018 Spring Baseball season is upon us and the Grizzly Baseball team is looking to make the playoffs after losing in the semifinals to Centennial High School last year. The team has a new Junior Varsity coach, Chris Anderson, who hopes to prepare younger players who have a lot of potential, for coming years.
Last year the team went 24-5 and graduated seven seniors. This year the team lost senior pitcher Jack Sellinger to a season-ending injury requiring Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction. Despite the setback, the team strives to be even better than last year.
“It’s gonna be a good year, we have a lot of good seniors that are gonna be good and a lot of sophomores that are gonna do really good things,” varsity first baseman and pitcher Braxton Bruschke said.
Other players will be required to step up such as Mitch Otis, Donovan Souder, Bruschke, and Jonathan Bakken to fill the roles of graduating seniors. These players will need to bring leadership to carry out victories throughout the season.
The JV team is looking to expand their talent by the hiring of their new coach after 11-3 record last year. The baseball team is relying on their young talent for this season and upcoming seasons to be successful.
“This year we lost them [Seniors]so the younger guys have to step up a lot more than they did last year,” Varsity Center Fielder Chase Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is a sophomore on varsity and is included in the young group of players that will need to step up. Sophomore Kade Higgins and Freshman Chasyn Love are also expected to play a big role. Both Rodriguez and Higgins are returning varsity players and Love has been moved up to varsity as a freshman to fill some roles.
So far, the Varsity team has put up a record of 4-4 while beating Shadow Ridge, Faith Lutheran, Silverado, and Clark. They are preparing for key matchups in Bishop Gorman, Desert Oasis, and Centennial to avenge their playoff loss last year.
The teams most recent win was against Clark High School and will be matched up against Durango the following week, which is a significant matchup and divisional rival for them.
“I think we’ve got some experience on the mound this year and guys that are just constantly improving, so I think pitching is gonna be a strength of ours.” said Varsity Pitching Coach Jeff Pienta.