West Branch baseball team has big goals|
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
ALLPORT - The West Branch baseball team hasn't had a lot of stability the last few years.
The Warriors have had seven coaches in the past nine seasons.
New head coach Tyler Good is hoping to change that in 2013.
Good replaces Ryan Mostyn, who led West Branch to a 13-7 overall record, an 11-4 Inter-County Conference record and a 6-0 mark in the Moshannon Valley League. The team lost in the first round of the playoffs to Bellwood-Antis.
Mostyn was unable to continue as coach due to work commitments, so Good, who was his assistant last year took over the helm.
"It's been fun so far," Good said. "It's been busy. I think it would be a little easier on me if we weren't inside. We need to get out on the field and things will flow a lot better. I've worked with this group of kids for quite a few years now, so I know them.
"Ryan and I are kind of like the same coach. We have the same philosophies. There are a few things I may have changed, but these guys have seen quite a bit of the same stuff as last year."
West Branch returns six letterwinners, but are minus senior Parker Emigh, who will miss the season with an ACL tear.
"Losing Parker was big," said Good. "When you lose your No. 2 pitcher, who had five wins last year, it hurts. He would have built on that this year.
"But our young kids are throwing well. They did well in Virginia and they've done well in the cage so far. It's going to be good. There is a lot of competition right now."
The Warriors will rely on senior letterwinner and No. 1 pitcher Chad Speigle, as well as sophomore Walker Williams to handle a lot of the innings.
Good will also look to several underclassmen to fill the holes in the rotation.
"Walker Williams is working his way in," said Good. "He has impressed me so far in the cage. Kody Trude is throwing well. We also have Ty Thomas, Zach McGonigal and some of the younger kids too."
Speigle was 3-4 last season, logging 30 1/3 innings with a 3.92 ERA.
McGonigal is the only other pitcher back for West Branch. He was 1-0 in 8 2/3 innings pitched with a 3.23 ERA.
The team will need to fill the hole left by Aaron Lidgett, who was 3-1 in 42 innings. Lidgett was also the team's second-leading hitter last season with a .451 batting average.
Also gone is Curtis Baugh, who was the team's top hitter with a .492 average. He had 31 hits, 30 runs scored and 23 RBIs.
The Warriors biggest strength last year was their hitting. Good hopes that continues this year, although he doesn't think the team will put up the big numbers as in past years.
"That was what carried us most last year," said Good. "The power numbers may not be there this year, but we are a lot quicker than we were last year. So we can take an extra base here or there and steal some bases.
"We are going to start playing small ball and moving guys up."
While the team took a preseason trip to Virginia, Good said he still doesn't have a set lineup ready to go.
"We are close, but there are some things we saw down in Virginia that we need to improve on," said Good. "It just depends on when we can get outside."
The Warriors have already had two games postponed because of the weather, with a third looking like it's not going to be played either.
Still, Good has an idea of where some of his players will be, including in the outfield, where the Warriors struggled at times last year.
"I think the outfield will be our strength this year," he said. "We have Jonathan Sanker in center field and Conor Myers in left. Then we have Walker (Williams) and Nate (Kerlin) battling it out in right."
First base will be between seniors Ty Thomas and Trey English, while second base is a competition between J.P. Hayles, McGonigal, Brandon Zwick and Josh Lannen.
Trude will play short when he isn't pitching, while Speigle can play at short or third depending on the situtation.
"Kody is going to have to play a big role when Chad goes to the mound," Good said. "We've had Kody at short and Chad at third too, so we are working him in."
Dakota Wick will be behind the plate, with Vince McDowell also working at the position.
"We have a lot of kids backing up at positions, that aren't really considered backups," said Good. "We have a lot of contributors back, so we are looking forward to putting them in the full lineup everyday. We are looking for the younger kids to step up where there are holes."
Good will be assisted by Kevin Hubler. He has also had help from Chad Koleno, Danny Clark and former Warrior head coach Dave Learish. The junior varsity team will be coached by Butch Emigh and Jeff Ennis.
"We have already set our team goals," Good said. "We talked about making it back to where we were last year, back to the playoffs. But just getting there isn't enough anymore. We have to advance and move on and step up our game."
West Branch was slated to play Moshannon Valley today, but that game has been moved to May 9 because of the weather. The Warriors' next game is scheduled for Thursday at Bellwood-Antis, but weather could also play a factor.
Gary Dillon, Trey English, *J.P. Hayles, Jon Sanker, *Chad Speigle, *Ty Thomas, *Dakota Wick.
Tommy Adams, *Nate Kerlin, Kaiden Koch, *Zach McGonigal, Robbie Pearce.
Josh Lannen, Jesse Martin, Conor Myers, Walker Williams.
Mark Glace, Isaac Guenot, Cole Harris, Josh Kerlin, Andrew Maguire, Vince McDowell, Kody Trude, Brandon Zwick.
*Denotes returning letterwinners.
26-Moshannon Valley, ppd. to May 9; 28-at Bellwood-Antis.
2-Claysburg-Kimmel; 4-at Juniata Valley; 9-at Glendale; 11-at Mount Union; 15-Penns Valley; 16-Williamsburg; 18-at Moshannon Valley; 19-Harmony; 23-Bellwood-Antis; 25-at Claysburg-Kimmel, 4 p.m.; 26-Tyrone; 29-at Curwensville, 4:15 p.m.; 30-Juniata Valley.
2-Glendale; 6-at Penns Valley; 7-Mount Union; 9-Moshannon Valley; 13-at Tyrone.
All games being at 4:30 p.m. unless noted.