Baseball squad looks to fresh start

Austin Roberts Five

By Kyle Salomon,

Losing 17 seniors has the Mustang baseball team starting fresh with the new season.

One year ago, the Bronco baseball team was heading into the 2013 baseball season as a favorite to make the state tournament and even a run at a state title.

Mustang was loaded with seniors, who had numerous years of experience at the varsity level.

This year, the Broncos are not only young on the diamond, but raw.

“We are going to have to do a lot of different things to be successful this year,” Mustang head coach Scott Selby said. “We are going to have to play small ball, play aggressive on the base paths and take chances we wouldn’t normally take. The guys have worked hard and have great attitudes throughout the fall and preseason.”

The 2014 version of the Mustang baseball team will take the field for its first regular season game at 1 p.m. Saturday at home against Putnam City North.

They will do so with three players returning from last year’s squad that played on a regular basis. Senior pitcher and infielder Austin Roberts, senior infielder Lane Driskill and junior infielder and pitcher Jakob Webb are the only Broncos who saw a lot of action last season.

The Broncos will have eight seniors on the roster this year. Roberts and Driskill, along with pitcher and outfielder Ryne Martin, infielder Logan Reed, infielder Tyler Goble, pitcher John McInturf, catcher and infielder Austin Harris and pitcher Jeremy Bieber are the seniors on the roster this season.

Mustang lost most of its production at the plate, on the mound and in the field from last year’s regional championship group.

The seniors from last year’s team who graduated are Mason Stasyszen, Andrew Madison, Jayland Rodriguez, Cole Williams, Landon Vodka, Chris Gibbons, Hayden Shaw, Jacob Rateliff, Matt Massey, Austin Billiott, Tucker Calmus, Shannon Kyle, Spencer Tillman, Reece Perzanowski, Patrick Osborne, Estavon Gonzalez and Aaron Lebo.

The Broncos will take on U.S. Grant at 4 p.m. Monday at home and at 4 p.m. Tuesday on the road.

“We know what we are going to have to do in order to win games,” Selby said. “If we can execute offensively, defensively and on the mound with what are aiming to do, we will be competitive.”