Mavericks looking for more offense | BaseballPitching, defense should be stellar
When Meadowdale coach Bill Hummel evaluates his team he sees a veteran club with good pitching and a solid defense.
The area of biggest concern is the offense. Last year, the Mavericks scored 5 or fewer runs in 15 out of their 20 games. The Mavericks finished fifth in the league with a 10-8 mark and were 10-10 overall.
“We’re coming off a pretty weak offensive year,” Hummel said. “That’s something we’re trying to focus on.”
The wet winter weather hasn’t been cooperating and Meadowdale was trying to have its first full field batting practice this week
“It’s an area we’re looking to improve on,” Hummel said. “We just didn’t have much pop last year. I feel like we’re going to be better offensively.”
Meadowdale is looking to junior shortstop Will Schafer and senior outfielder Haelin Roberts to jumpstart the top of the lineup. Both bring have good speed.
Schafer, the returning starting shortstop, is that rarity – a three sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball).
“He’s a do everything guy at the school,” Hummel said. “I’m impressed by his ability to do that.”
Roberts brings much needed experience to center field. He’ll be joined by two new outfielders.
“He’s a good athlete rounding out a terrific athletic career here,” Hummel said. “I feel like we have some holes to fill in the outfield.”
Markus Ward returns at first base and should provide some of the pop Hummel wants to see on offense. Also back is catcher Travis Hagan, another player the Meadowdale coach is relying on to carry a big bat.
“We’ll have some experience with the first six, seven guys in the lineup,” Hummel said. “This will be an experienced team.”
Second base is a bit of a mystery right now, Hummel said, with a number of guys being considered.
Senior Hunter Shouse is getting a long hard look at third base. Shouse didn’t play last season.
“He’s back with us this year. He’ll make us a better ball club offensively and defensively,” Hummel said. “He’s a left-handed bat, who’ll hit in the middle of the lineup.”
Meadowdale’s top two starting pitchers – senior Conner Moss and junior Tommy Dimmock – return and should give the Mavericks plenty of innings.
“Both were strong behind the plate,” Hummel said.
Other players in the pitching mix include Aaron Chester and Anthony Toyne.
“They should help us on the mound,” Hummel said.