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Tomahawk JV squad goes 19-0
Going undefeated in the regular season shouldn't be an easy task, but the Tomahawk JV baseball coach Ryan Gilbertson describes his team's 19-0 season that way.
"I didn't have to do a whole lot, just change the lineup a little bit," he said.
In conversation with Gilbertson, the coach kept coming back to the talent of his roster and the baseball culture entrenched in the Marysville community.
A Tomahawk alumnus and baseball player himself, Gilbertson said the intensity has increased since his days on the diamond.
"When you look at the numbers that came to tryout, it was over 100. The numbers are there," he said. "And now with the influx of these kids who play 50 games of (club) baseball every summer, its a different game from when I was a kid. This is like a tune-up for a lot of these guys, who will go on to play another 40-50 games this summer."
He added that the team he formed was strong defensively and even better up to bat.
Ten sophomores and seven juniors formed the roster of this team. Sophomore Matt Cooper led the pitching staff, while junior Casey Keister did a little bit of everything for the team.
"He pitched for me, he caught for me, he played infield, he played outfield," Gilbertson added of Keister. "He was a key utility player for me. He did whatever I needed him to do. That's really valuable to a coach to have a kid like that you can depend on."
Sophomores Austin Denton, Kyle Pace and Dane Widness added power at bat and speed on the bases to the M-P offense.
"Quite a lot of power in the lineup," the coach added. "We hit the ball hard. We scored a lot of runs. We left a lot of runners on base, which isn't great, but it's good that we have that kind of power on offense."
Familiar foes proved the most challenging. Several players from opposing Arlington and Lake Stevens teams were known to M-P players from their years of club baseball, and those schools also came closest to upsetting the Tomahawks' perfect season.
The ease of Gilbertson's season leaves him optimistic about the future of Tomahawk baseball.
"It was just a blast. It wasn't real difficult. It was nice to just hang out with the kids, put them in the right spots and let them play," he said. "The future is bright for baseball at M-P."