The Mineral County High baseball team is off to a strong start this 2016 season. Following a very successful basketball season, the baseball team hopes that the experience gained in the state basketball tournament will give them the momentum they need to make a statement on the baseball diamond.
With 24 guys trying out for the mighty Serpents, this year’s team is deep in every position. With 21 selected members of the team, this season will mark the first time the Serpents have fielded a JV team since 1995.
Led by head coach Darren Hamrey in his thirteenth season, along with coaches Kyle Isom, Casey Kee and Larry Spickert, the Serpents hope to handle the Northeastern 1A Division. The Serpents will be leaning on returning senior leadership to ensure a successful season.
Senior Spencer Benjamin, who was a wall behind the dish last season, will help lead the charge. Benjamin led the team in 2015 with a .516 batting average, which landed him a place in the all-time NIAA Record Book.
The following seniors have provided strong mound presence for the Serpents in the past and hope to do so again this season. Daniel Owens, who struck out 53 batters in 37 innings last season, plus a no-hitter against fourth seed Wells, will have bigger shoes to fill. He also put up 20 hits and a .357 batting average.
Tanner Owens, who last year broke the NIAA record for stolen bases in single game, and set a school record with 41 swipes in a season, will be looking to conquer his own bests. As a lead off hitter he had 41 hits and boasted a .488 batting average. On the hill, he put up a 2.96 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
Back on the diamond for the Serpents, after a short leave of absence, is 6-foot 2-inch senior Isaiah Crowl. Crowl led the Serpent attack from the mound as a freshman and sophomore and the team will be depending on him to step back into those shoes once again.
Adding to the Serpent senior barrage is newcomer LJ Donaldson, who pitches and hits from both sides of the plate. Other returning players are juniors: Chance Sterns; Taylen Wachsmuth; Andre Davis; Brandon West; Eddie Dunnett; Tyler Smith and Dillon Kintz. In addition, the Serpents have added sophomore Gary Hamrey and freshman: Tony Dominguez; Griffen Inman; Bodie Oberhansli; Jonathan Scott; Phillip Dees; Tyler McNamara; Kaden Sunderland and David Ditmer.
You are all invited to come take part in the Serpent Baseball experience this season. There will be great music, great food, an entertaining atmosphere, youth contests, and more. Mr. Arlo Funk will throw out the first pitch on March 25 at home, when the Serpents take on Pahranagat Valley at noon. See you there.
The team will open up play this weekend at a tournament in Yerington.