Sports

M-P baseball plans to rebuild quickly

Sophomore Jake Thomas throws some pitches as practice draws to a close.   - Danielle Szulczewski
Sophomore Jake Thomas throws some pitches as practice draws to a close.
— image credit: Danielle Szulczewski

MARYSVILLE — Adaptability is a useful skill in Wesco baseball.

There’s usually too much talent in any school and any league to build a program over several years for a state tournament run. A team needs a few key players with varsity experience and a bunch more ready to step in. It requires a program with depth at the junior varsity and freshman team levels.

Despite graduating a lot of players the year before, including the team’s top two pitchers, the Tomahawks rebuilt successfully under first-year coach Kurt Koshelnik, placing third in league standings, knocking off year-long nemesis Snohomish for a stab at the district championship and a state tournament game.

The team is poised to give it another go this year.

However, when M-P meets Mountlake Terrace March 17 to avenge their loss of last year’s district title game, there will be only four players on the Tomahawks who played in that game.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Koshelnik. “It’s still March, still cold. We’re trying to piece it together.”

The known quantities are pitchers Tyler Holm and Brennen Steinbaugh, outfielder Levi Cartas and Devin Peterson, who will start at first base this year.

If the past in any indication of this season, Koshelnik, like his predecessor Josh Rosenbach, prefers a scheduled style of pitching. With three games a week, a different pitcher starts each game, with another three or so guys capable of closing out a game. Holm and Steinbaugh started several games last year behind Frankie Nelson and Koshelnik said he believes in what they can do for the Tomahawks this season.

“I’m sold on Ty Holm and Brennen,” Koshelnik said, adding that he’s still figuring out the rest of his bullpen. “I’ve got a lot of arms, I’m not sure how it’s going to shape up.”

Cartas, who was the leadoff batter for Marysville last season, has a trait that Koshelnik said he sees a lot of in his incoming class — speed. A couple of familiar names pop up among the up-and-comers: Dane Widness, who came along as a pinch runner late last season, and Austin Denton, who demonstrated his quickness on a different field last fall, racking up yards as a running back for the 9-0 Tomahawks.

“We’re hoping he’s a big bonus for us,” the coach said, adding, “We have a lot of scrappy kids. I’m optimistic how they can play.”

M-P begins their league schedule with a series against Stanwood March 24 and March 26.

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