Hornets enter preseason with 6 returning players

The Hornets baseball team has started preseason and is ready to go. They lost to Indian Springs last week 17-2.

Beatty coach Leo Verzilli is expecting a great season due to all the returning players and just the sheer number of kids participating.

“Our offense should be good,” Verzilli said. “We have six returners to the lineup this year. Senior Hugo Mendoza should be one of our top hitters. This will be his third year.”

He said adding to their offensive potential is junior Jose Gonzalez, who was the top base stealer for the team last year and also their number one pitcher. Adding to that will be the speed of senior Isaias Femat.

According to Verzilli, a new pitch count rule will lessen the amount of games this year. He said the new rule permits 140 pitches per week and no more than 110 per day.

“We used to play doubleheaders with each team,” the coach said. “This year because of that rule we will only play one. The reason is a lot of teams in Class 1A don’t have a lot of experienced pitchers. The rule doesn’t help us and the bigger leagues it doesn’t hurt them because they have the numbers that we don’t have.”

At first base for the Hornets will be sophomore Jacob Henry, at second will be sophomore Damien Reynoso and at third base will be Mendoza. The shortstop will be Femat and catching will be senior Matt Reetz.

In the outfield the Hornets will have junior Daniel Castillo and center field will have senior Samuel Cardenas.

Verzilli said he has not made a decision yet on right field.

Beatty is at Trona on Monday at 3:30 p.m.