Baseball team settles into a long season

Ballard falls to Mount Si 10-4 at High School Baseball Classic at Safeco Field

Henry Burreson, Staff Reporter
Originally published March 29, 2016

Sam HeikellThe team stands on the third base line during the Pledge of Allegiance before their game last Saturday. They lost to Mount Si by a score of 10-4.

Sam Heikell

The team stands on the third base line during the Pledge of Allegiance before their game last Saturday. They lost to Mount Si by a score of 10-4.

An almost entirely new coaching staff is heading up the varsity team with only head coach Doug Montgomery returning.

“Our coach every year wants state,” said captain, Owen Leonard. “But this year it’s more realistic.”

After graduating most of the team’s infielders, the returning players are stepping up to fill their roles. However, the team still feels confident in its offensive capability. A power hitting team with a consistent pitching roster is the foreseen identity of the team.

Coming out of a relaxed off-season with scheduled team batting practice and individuals working in the weight room, players are ready for the inseason workouts. Most varsity players and otherwise play on club teams during the summer to keep their skills up and learn from different coaches but the school season is the focus now.

The team captains are seniors Leonard, Nick Nishi and Tyler Hoogendoorn. According to junior Jack Baker, the captains are “good leaders, and respected by everyone on the team”.

Not only do they take their role seriously as team leaders but they make sure to reach out to players throughout the program. “We text the younger guys to keep up on their school work and make sure they make it to practice,” Leonard said .

It’s clear that all three teams in the program have a close relationship and that there is a mutual respect between upper and lower classmen. This relationship is a necessity for the program due to the fact that it not only keeps players engaged in the program as a whole but also gives Varsity players the opportunity to look for potential early on and to encourage their performance.

Team captains are held accountable for their teammates, meaning that they run for the mistakes of their teammates. “If guys aren’t picking up their gear or being lazy, we run,” Leonard said.

The coaching staff, being mostly new to coaching varsity, all instill confidence in each other. JV assistant coaches are moving up to coach and a select baseball coach is joining the staff as well. Coaching experience and renewed relationships with the Ballard players are coming this season and hopes are high.

After splitting games against Blanchet Ballard is working toward beating them as well as sweeping Ingraham and Franklin two years in a row.

Last year, Ballard had a record of (15-8) and made it to the playoffs where O’dea knocked them out in a close defeat. However, the team knows that after beating O’dea in the regular season last year and with the positive outlook on the new team this year, that they are capable of beating them this year.

Last Saturday, the team got a chance to play in the tenth annual Safeco Field classic, where they took on the Mount Si wildcats. Despite losing by a score of 10-4, it was still a great experience for the players to play in arguably one of the nicest ballparks in the country. “It was a really cool experience,” shortstop Aidan Welch said. “It was awesome thinking of all of the MLB players who have played on that same field.”

The beavers will look to rebound this Wednesday against the Seattle Prep Panthers at Steve Cox Memorial Park.