Pack planting seeds for the futurePublished 8:25pm Monday, March 11, 2013
The Pam Pack baseball team may be short in senior leadership but it’s long in heart, and second-year coach Ryan Whitney is hoping that can go a long way for his club this season.
Washington returns only two seniors in 1B/OF Dustin Moore and OF/P Christian Lambert from last year’s seven-win team, but the Pam Pack has several underclassmen that are ready to step up and punch the clock.
The players’ workmen-like mentality has fostered a positive atmosphere for the Pam Pack and that’s something Whitney feels is the backbone for his team as it prepares for conference play.
“I think the strength of this team – and maybe it sounds a little cliché – but I think the overall strength of this team is our attitude and our effort,” Whitney said. “All of these guys are coachable and I think the biggest thing as coaches that we like about this group is that we feel like every time we play, no matter what the score is, we’re going to get 100 percent from these guys.”
Whether or not that effort will be enough to push this team toward .500 is uncertain, but the hope is that the seeds that are planted this year will blossom into a winning future.
“It’s just a new team. It’s a new dynamic this year,” Whitney said. “Between graduation and the turnover of some other players I don’t know how well we’ll do in terms of wins and losses, but I know as a staff there is a lot of enjoyment day-to-day in practice.”
On the mound, Washington will be led by sophomore Patrick Thompson, who has the inside track on being the team’s No. 1 starter. Beyond Thompson are several candidates who will vie for time in the rotation.
“Behind Patrick I don’t necessarily have a two, three, four but Zach Parker is going to throw a lot of innings for us and Christian Lambert is going to throw some innings for us,” Whitney said. “Outside of those two, we will be looking for Devon Van Cura and Chase Hartley to contribute.”
Catching the young hurlers will be sophomore backstop Bradley Smith, who is in his first year with the varsity club.
The trio of Moore, Parker and Lambert will all see action at first base. The middle infield will be patrolled by the combination of Matt Dixon, Thompson and Trey Brunson, while Hartley and Dixon and Parker will split time at third.
In the outfield, Moore, Jamond Ebron, Van Cura, Greg Squires and Will Cutler will each divvy time.
So far this season the Pam Pack has shown it can pitch and prevent runs, but the big challenge for this young group will be scoring them.
“We’ve lost two of our three games 1-0, so we’ve been pitching and playing defense,” Whitney said. “But our offensive approach mentally has got to be better. … We have to be able to manufacture runs. We have to be willing to do the little things. We have to be willing to bunt and take extra bases. If we can do those little things and put the ball in play I think we are going to pull out some wins that we probably shouldn’t get.”