By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
MOUNDRIDGE – The 2021 season for the Moundridge baseball team hit some rough spots under first-year coach Jason Rains as they had trouble finishing out games.
For the 2022 season to be successful, Coach Rains will need all hands-on deck and see some improvement in both closing out games as well as on the pitching mound in order for the Wildcats to improve on last season’s record of 9-13.
Coach Rains will have a new face on the bench helping him in 2022 as Tristan Hawkinson joins the Wildcats after a successful career at both Buhler High School and McPherson College.
“We were disappointed in that we finished 9-13 last season,” said Coach Rains. “I say disappointing because of the fact that we could have easily been 13-9 without having suffered some let downs late in games.”
What the Wildcats will have to focus on immediately will be the replacing of four graduates that included three starters in Wyatt Falco, Jon Schlosser, and Corbin Unruh. Graduating Falco and Schlosser are considered major losses as they were both honored as first-team all-league in 2021.
The bright spot for Coach Rains is who he will have returning to build the 2022 team around, and that includes three all-league performers led by Ethan Brandeweide, a senior in 2022, who made first-team all-league as an outfielder.
The other two team builders will be second-team all-league pitcher/infielder, senior Anthony Everhart along with sophomore Ty Rains who highlighted his freshman season by making honorable mention all-league as a utility player though he will be counted on as a shortstop and catcher this spring.
When asked about some newcomers, the coaching staff immediately snapped out the names of freshman Lane Durst and sophomore London Ward as players looking to make an impact this spring.
Coach Rains concluded his pre-season reflections by adding, “Our highlight for 2021 was splitting games with a particularly good Marion team and competing nose-to-nose with Inman while the lowlight had to be losses to Ell-Saline, Remington, and one game to Inman where we had the game under control until late and lost. I think our season will rise and fall with the consistency we find in our pitching. We will hold our own defensively and at the plate if we can find a good approach and limit our mental mistakes.”
The Wildcats will open the 2022 season with a pair of road trips, going to Sedgwick on Tuesday, March 29 and then traveling to Remington on Friday, April 1.
(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at email@example.com)