TONASKET – The 2009 Tonasket High School baseball team is going to focus on the fundamentals this season.
“Baseball is mostly catching and throwing; we need to do that well so our infielders will be taking a lot of ground balls every day,” Stephen Williams said. “This hitting will come but if we can’t improve on defense we will never be in any of the games.”
Williams, who is in his second year as head coach, is assisted by Craig Lofthus and says he doesn’t think he’s been coaching long enough to have a style.
“I’m still learning alongside the guys,” he added. “I am finding that playing baseball and coaching baseball are quite different and I have a whole new appreciation for the many coaches I had growing up.”
This season’s baseball team has 22 boys, which Williams said is very close to last year’s numbers, who have a mixture of experience. There are six returning seniors: John Parish, Josh McDaniel, Jeramy Dellinger, Kemper Mirick, Matt Chartier and Cody Ayers.
“I would expect all the seniors to play well,” Williams said. “In addition to them, I will be looking to junior Wade Detillian to be a force on the mound for us as well as a number of sophomores who actually got some varsity playing time last year.”
Williams said sophomore David Goyette has grown in the off-season and is throwing the ball much harder. He added that sophomore Justin Dellinger has been working on his swing and is expect to hit well this year and that junior Mo Brown, sophomore Ty Thornton and sophomore Corbin Moser have all made significant improvements in their game.
“Our pitching has improved with the addition of senior Tyler Monroe, who brings a variety of pitches as well as considerable velocity,” Williams said. “Senior Jeff Malke is another addition who brings a lot of experience and a great bat.”
Williams said that the team’s weakness is that with so many new players this year, it might take some time for the team to “gell” but that it will work itself out as the season progresses. He added that since the team only won two games last season, they have to improve this season.
“Our second game against Okanogan was our best game last season,” Williams said. “We lost in the bottom of the seventh on a well executed season squeeze.”