Senior Led West Valley Baseball Has Big Plans for 2018
After getting bounced in the first round of the 2017 state playoffs, West Valley will return nine seniors from last year's team.
This is something that has West Valley Coach Ryan Froula pumped.
"It's a huge advantage, this senior class has had a lot of success. They've averaged 18 wins a season over the past three years; they understand what it takes to win."
A projected eight seniors will fill out the starting lineup for West Valley this season, and there are big dreams surrounding this program right now.
A big-time power hitter to look out for will be Tanner Cline. The senior catcher hit .333 this past season, and will be counted on to deliver in the clean-up role.
Penciled in in at first base will be first-year starter Kyle Remsberg, somebody that teammate Spencer Froula spoke highly of.
"He really came into his own as a hitter this past Summer. His fielding has improved as well, he's hit his stride."
Spencer Froula will lineup next to Remsberg at second base. He has been an anchor for West Valley's infield the last few seasons. In 2017, Froula had a mind-boggling .469 OBP.
The only underclassmen in the starting lineup will be Jack Van De Brake. A man that comes from a lineage of quality Van De Brake's. He is projected to hit at the top of the order.
"The thing that helps (Van De Brake) is he's so athletic," said Tanner Cline, "he's going to be able to grow into that position, I'm not worried about him at all."
The hot corner will be controlled by Sammy Hitchcock. A flame-throwing 6-1 third baseman that will be utilized both at third and as a starting pitcher.
Lining up in the outfield will be Anthony Tatro and Michael Arnold in the corners, with Spencer Bailey covering ground in center field.
"Spencer Bailey has been a three year starter for us," said starting pitcher Riley Lublin, "He's a great hitter that has good speed as well. Tatro can make plays in left field, he's made some jaw-dropping catches in practice. Arnold has a really strong arm in right field that transitions well onto the mound."
West Valley does not have any set relief pitchers, and will rely primarily on their "big three" starting pitchers to carry them deep into games.
Riley Lublin will take the rubber on opening night come March 16th against Kamiak. Followed by Michael Arnold and Sammy Hitchcock.
The pieces are in place for a state title run at West Valley, something that Coach Froula is confident they can follow through with.
"We have a group of guys here that are very talented. Obviously we need to get a break, and we have to play with consistency throughout the course of the season. If we do those things, you never know what could happen at the end."
Coach Froula also wanted to make sure this was included about his team.
"I want to make sure it'd be said that these are not only great baseball players, but even better kids. I've known a lot of them since they were young, and all these guys are going to be successful in life."