The Velva 39ers are coming off a 5th place finish at state last summer and are looking to get back there.
We spoke to the team about what will get them to state in Oakes.
“We all are excited to get another chance at a state run I guess after the high school season didn’t go as we planned but pretty excited,” says 39ers Pitcher Tace Pederson.
The 39ers return all but two players from last season. Head Coach Brent Engebretson believes it will be huge having 13 guys able to pitch.
“It will be more of a juggling act because 13 of them can pitch so I’m not worried about arms, its just getting guys innings is more the big thing so we will be flexible and move guys in and around,” said Engebretson. “Hopefully get everybody enough innings all summer.”
Getting guys more innings, wont be an issue though.
“Many people are going to be gone,” said 39ers Catcher Ricky Gonzales.
Most of Ricky’s teammates are running the bases while also keeping up with other summer activities.
“A number of guys are at wrestling, football, basketball, clinics and summer stuff,” said Engebretson.
Forcing younger players to step up even with limited experience.
“Its a game, try to make every play you can and just be good in practice and it will convert to the games,” said Gonzales.
“Don’t be scared whenever you play, you know baseball is a lot more failure than it is success. Just help them when they do something wrong, with maybe saying what you could do better and then just keeping up their energy and confidence will be key too,” said Pederson.
Velva was a great defensive team last summer holding teams below five runs. They’re looking to lock in on the diamond and get back to the state tournament.
“If you pitch and catch the ball, you really don’t lose a lot of games and that’s been a focus and we’re going to try to work on that. We will find guys to put them in the best spots possible,” said Engebretson.
“Pitchers will have to throw strikes consistently and just and just compete and we will have to have energy all season,” said Pederson.
The 39ers are back in action June 24 against Surrey.