Baseball: Velva ready for postseason play

Local Sports

The independent baseball regular season wraps up and now the sights are set as the postseason district tournaments begin next week. Now, we take a look at one of the contenders.

“We are trying to keep things fresh and interesting so that every day isn’t exactly the same,” said head coach Brent Engebretson.

The Velva 39ers are an impressive 25-7 this season and looking to make a push for state. Coach Engebretson adds the team needs to keep its momentum on the mound.

“I feel that we’ve built a nice pitching staff so I have four really good guys and we got three more in the bullpen that are pretty solid,” said Engebretson. “So I like where we are at pitching-wise again come tournament time in late July you need every arm and you can never have too many.”

But one thing Engebretson feels the team needs to work on as tournament time approaches is having quality at-bats.

“Hit somewhere, have a little bit of a plan, ball inside, I am going to pull hard, ball down the middle, I am going to hit it up the middle. Breaking balls especially away, you can not pull that ball or it’s an easy ground ball. We are working on hitting the ball where it’s pitched and being aggressive and hard in that zone when we can,” explained Engebretson.

“Today seeing our zone and knowing how to swing on different pitches inside, outside or right down the middle, keeping your head down on the ball and just knowing your zone,” says second baseman Colin Dean.

Although there is always room for improvement, Engebretson is focused on the positives.

“We go back and emphasize that we did do well. We pitched well, we made every play or we communicated well. Nobody is happy when you deal with negatives all the time so we try to stay on the more positive note,” said Engebretson.

“Telling somebody how good they played and keeping them up after a bad play, I think that is a huge part of how you play your game is picking your buddies up and telling them how good they did,” declared Dean.

The District Three tournament begins next Monday with Velva playing at 3:30 p.m.

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