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League changes could put Trojans in playoffs

For the Trojans baseball team, it is a brand new year and a new division. A division without league rival Faith Lutheran. In fact, the top four teams that finished the season last year are all gone.

“With Faith (Lutheran), (Sierra) Vista, Spring Valley, and Clark moving on to the Class 4A, we feel as though we have a legitimate shot to win our division,” Trojans coach Brian Hayes said. “This change also gives us an opportunity to throw some young guys into the varsity mix. We feel like our young guys will have an opportunity to be successful at the varsity level, which was not the case last season.”

The Trojans finished in fifth place last year.

The new league will be composed of Cheyenne, Desert Pines, Mojave, Sunrise Mountain and Western.

To get to the playoffs the coach is seeking an increase in runs per game.

“Our offensive game goal is to score seven or more runs a game,” Hayes said. “We are still trying to get our guys to buy into quality at bats rather than base hits. If our players can put aside batting average and focus on having quality at-bats, the result will be an increase in runs.”

In addition to hitting, in baseball, a team has to have pitching if it wants to go anywhere in the postseason.

“We like what we see with our pitching early on,” Hayes said. “Garrett Lucas is returning, a first team all-conference player and he is competing for a spot in the rotation with Bradda Costa, Willie Lucas, Kyle Havel, Dylan Grossell, Ian MacRae, Joey Koenig, Drew Walker, Josh Ferrer, and Tyler Clark.”

“This year our entire lineup can hit and so the lineup goes a lot deeper,” Walker said. “All the way through the lineup is good. Parker Hart is coming back, and he was the best hitter on the team last year. I feel we also have a lot of good players coming up from the junior varsity.”

Hayes said he has 19 guys competing for varsity spots.

“All of them can play,” the coach said. “We have 15 games before league to figure it out. More important than who will start is getting these guys to put the team first. If we can do that, we expect to make some noise and advance deep.”

The Trojans start their season this weekend at the Route 66 tournament in Arizona, where they will play at least five games. Their first home game will be against Chaparral at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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