When I returned home from Saturday afternoons MHS Puncher baseball playoff game, I was besieged by E-mails and phone messages, all with the same question. Did we win? My response to all was a resounding YES. ( See Melody Trip's article for details).
It has been ten long years since the MHS baseball program has seen this kind of success. While Tennis and the One Act Play were stealing the headlines our MHS Puncher baseball program was quietly knocking off some of the best teams in the State, clinching a District title, and now advancing to the third round of the State Playoffs.
Our baseball program is under the direction of Head Coach, Bobby Smith, who has resurrected a program that was in complete shambles a couple of years ago. Coach Smith does not prescribe to the philosphy that you have to scream, yell, and jump up down to be coaching. Quite the contrary. Coach Smith, is so layed back I have been compelled to come out of the bleachers and take his pulse. However, do not let the layed back demeanor fool you. The players will be quick to tell you that Coach Smith can convey more with a steely stare then most coaches can in a ten minute conversation. The end result has been a winning program that has raised the bar, demands a larger commitment from the players, and now has so many players wanting to be a part of this resurgence that we have added a JV team.
I have had several people ask me; ‘How good is this team"? Let me put it this way. They fall some where between the Amazing Mets of the 60’s and the Gas House Gang of the late 40’s. This is a team that is not going to bludgeon you to death. It is more of a team that has an innate ability to manufacture runs when they need them, are as defensively sound as you can get, and are extremely aggressive on the base paths. The line up has not changed much this year. Listed below is what you can expect when you tune in to KNEL 95.3FM this week, as Mason makes its run for the State Championship!
1.) CHANCE STOCKBRIDGE, An excellent contact hitter who has shown a flashy glove at shortstop. (SO)
2.) ETHAN HOLLAND, Hard hitting first base man who has the highest batting average on the team. (SR)
3.) GARRETT RICE, Slick fielding second base man who leads the team in stolen bases. (JR)
4.) JUSTIN YONKER, Ace of the pitching staff who has looked tough to beat down the stretch. ( SR)
5.) CASEY KRUSE, (SR) Red hot designated hitter who bats for AUSTIN TRIP (SO) who looks exceptional at third base.
6.) DILLON ESTES, Hard hitting right fielder who has had a hot bat down the stretch. (JR)
7.) ESTVAN VILLAREAL, Veteran catcher who sets the tone and leads the team in Home runs. (SR)
8.) JEREMY DUARTE. Savvy left fielder who has made several big catches in post season play.(SR)
9.) RODDY CASTILLO, Rangie center fielder who has been Mister excitement as of late. (SR)
Rounding out the rest of the team are: Junior Alvarez (JR); Jansen Rychlik (JR); Ben Bjork (JR); Tyler Chew (JR); Winston Trip (SO); Bodie Adams (SO); Assistant Coach Kody Fields; and Trainers Jaci Draper, and Virginia Lemke.
GO PUNCHERS !!!!!!!!! GET STATE !!!!!!!!!