2017 High School Baseball Season Preview
By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – The last time the Donna Redskins Baseball Team had a taste of the postseason was in 2005.
In 2016, the Redskins team got close to knocking the door down and finally ending the slump.
Unfortunately, they fell short and now have to wait another year to try and make that 12-year playoff skid finally come to an end.
“I told the guys that we got close to knocking the door down last year. But this year, we literally need to kick that door down,” said Redskins head baseball coach Joey Ramirez. “Twelve years is way too long to not be in the playoffs and this year’s group is ready to finally make it happen.”
Donna High brings back five returning players from last year’s team and Ramirez will look for that experience to help improve on a few things that plagued them last year.
“Last year, we had a lot of trouble bringing in runs and stranded a lot of guys on the bases,” said Ramirez. “Also, we weren’t able to get the timely hits when needed and all of those things combined hurt us.”
“With that said, we worked on hitting the weight room and getting stronger. Plus we got some key kids from football in which gives us a boost. Along with getting stronger, we worked on hitting and trying to place the ball within the gaps. Plus we worked on playing small ball and are willing to try everything possible to help put more runs on the board.”
And even though the Redskins do bring back some valuable experience, one big hole they will need to fill is finding an ace on the pitching staff. Trey Ramirez graduated last year and was a dominating force on the mound night in and night out.
However, Donna High feels they found their man in Tony Hernandez.
“Tony was on our JV team last year and did an excellent job there,” said Ramirez. “He is a little raw when it comes to playing at the varsity level. But he has been working hard in the offseason and is starting to get a firm grasp of being our main guy.”
“He mixes things up really well with his pitches and comes inside with his curve ball. We have a ton of confidence in Tony and know he is going to do an excellent job for us.”
With district play kicking off this past Tuesday, the Redskins are on a mission to bring that rich tradition back to the program and they want to be one of the four teams in the postseason.
“We talk about tradition each and every day and how it needs to be brought back here,” said Ramirez. “This group has matured a lot more than last year and I feel the experience factor will play a big role in our success.”
“These guys are hungry and want to be in the postseason really bad. If we can do the little things right this season, then I feel we can finally get that Monkey off our back.”