MOUNDRIDGE – After a rather frustrating season in 2022 due to injuries, the Moundridge baseball program looks to rebound in 2023 with the help of several younger players bringing summer travel ball experience to the lineup.
Jason Rains, after going 12-27 in his first two seasons begins his third season in charge of the Wildcat baseball program after finishing a frustrating 4-17 in 2022 due to injuries.
“It was a frustrating season because we had potential,” noted coach Rains. “We just never performed the way we could have. The high of the season was seeing Ty Rains named honorable mention all-state as just a sophomore while the low point of the 2022 season was the inconsistency that we displayed all season, though a couple of key injuries and discipline issues impacted us a lot. ”
Moundridge will have to replace three key graduates in Anthony Everhart, Ethan Brandeweide, and Joe Schrag.
Not all is lost though as Ty Rains returns as a mid-infielder. Rains hit .583 with 30 runs scored and 35 steals in 2022 as just a sophomore while earning first-team All-Heart of America and honorable mention all-state.
Joaquin Huff, also just a junior, was the teams centerfielder/third baseman in 2022 and the coaches noted how he gained confidence when he began figuring things out. The coaches expect Huff to make immediate contributions in 2023.
Two freshman have gained the faith of the Wildcat coaches as being able to contribute early with third baseman Layton Schmidt coming in with a lot of experience from playing on summer travel teams the past few years while Clay Wilson is small in size but deceiving as he can cover a lot of ground in the outfield.
Speaking of his players, coach Rains said, “We will rely heavily on underclassmen to fill some gaps this season though I am optimistic that we can compete if we focus on the right things.”
Concluding his pre-season reflections, coach Rains added, “I really believe that our strength this season will be having greater depth in the outfield, something we have not had in several years. Our weakness could be our pitching as we are developing nearly an entire new staff, so that could be interesting. Our schedule will not be the easiest as the Heart of America League has some quality teams, there are no let-downs in our schedule.”
The Wildcats will open their 2023 season on Monday, March 27 when they play host to Conway Springs, before hosting county rival Inman on Friday, March 31.
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