Truckee baseball preview: Wolverines heavy on pitching, talent in 2010
March 25, 2010
Mike Ellis can’t help but gush when talking Truckee baseball.
The sixth-year head coach uses words like and#8220;lights out,and#8221; and#8220;awesomeand#8221; and and#8220;going all the wayand#8221; to describe his 2010 Wolverines. And for good reason.
The Wolverines return seven seniors from last year’s squad that played into the 3A state championship tournament, including two first team All-Leaguers in Jordan Deiro and Maclane Brady. They boast a slew of solid contact hitters, above-average speed on the base paths and a pitching staff 10 players deep.
and#8220;They’re a great bunch of guys,and#8221; Ellis said. and#8220;They work well together. They’re getting better and better each game, and they’re not cocky at all.and#8221;
They’re also off to a 4-0 start in league (6-0 overall) after a three-game sweep against Yerington and a win at Sparks on Wednesday.
and#8220;We have a really good team,and#8221; Ellis said. and#8220;They can all play.and#8221;
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The speedy Deiro, a middle infielder who was voted to All-League and All-State last year as a utility player, leads things off in the batting order. He’s followed by center fielder Tanner Churich batting second, No. 2 starting pitcher Brian Matthew batting third and Brady, the team’s staff ace, hitting in the cleanup slot.
James DePew, Matt Theis, Ben Bolton and Ryan Zusy are batting fifth through eighth in the early going, while Ellis said the ninth spot in the order is wide open among Brett Russon, Jared McDonnell and Morgan Nevin. Others competing for at-bats include Troy Allen, Sam Allen and Shane Fisher.
It’s a talented and cohesive group, Ellis said, and one that already set a goal of bringing home a state championship in May. For many of the players, it would mark their second title this school year after taking state in football this past fall.
and#8220;We’re going all the way. They want that second ring and#8212; football and baseball,and#8221; Ellis said.
Pitching is crucial to achieving that goal, as each Northern 3A team plays a three-game series per week and#8212; sometimes three days apart from the opening game to the doubleheader, other times on consecutive days, such as during playoffs or on long road trips. In that regard, the Wolverines are set up well with a number of quality arms.
and#8220;With three-game series, it’s going to come down to who has the best pitching,and#8221; Ellis said. and#8220;You have to have three good starters, and then not every starter is going to have his best stuff everyday. So you’ve got to have a deep bullpen, and that’s what we’ve got.and#8221;
Ellis expects defending Northern 3A division champ Spring Creek to field another strong team this year, as well as Dayton and potentially Lowry, he said. Last year the Wolverines went two games and out of the state tournament in Las Vegas, losing to Spring Creek and eventual state champ Virgin Valley from the South.
This year, however, Ellis and company think they have what it takes to get past whoever stands in the way.
and#8220;Everybody’s getting the job done,and#8221; Ellis said. and#8220;They all know they have a job to do, and they’re getting it done.and#8221;