OAKHURST — Badger baseball is off to a great start this season with a new coach and plenty of enthusiasm.
“We have good attitudes and we’re playing pretty good baseball,” says head coach James Gillaspy. “It seems like the kids are having fun doing it, as well, which is the key to success.”
The Yosemite High School varsity baseball team won Wednesday’s away game against Liberty in Madera by a score of 24-2. Varsity also won Thursday’s road game against Washington Union in Easton by a score of 6-2, with Nick Pierce pitching a complete game.
There are three returning seniors this year: Chris Ward is the shortstop, Nick Pierce and Sage Crosswhite are pitchers/utility. Out of 12 players on the team five are sophomores playing varsity for the first time.
“The good thing is they are willing to work, and willing to listen and put in the time and effort that it takes to be a good, successful team,” says the coach. “Every game we are proving that, little by little, we can be a team that people talk about in a positive way.”
Currently 4 – 1 in league, the team is 8 – 5 overall.
“We are having some success right now and we’re getting them to understand that just because we’re good today, we don’t stop learning and getting better, because the minute we stop, we get beat. And they’ve adapted to that, to look at the overall — not just what we’ve won but what we lost and what we can do better to continue to grow.”
Varsity assistant coach and YHS alumni Chris Day says he is honored to be coaching this team and proud to be part of the Badger squad, dubbing it the number one staff in the league.
Also on board for varsity is assistant coach Matt Haines, with head pitching coach Greg Kilgore, YHS alum Zack Peckinpah as assistant/pitching coach for JV, and assistant coach and catching coach, YHS alumni Brendan Gillaspy.
Tim Miller, yet another who bleeds Badger blue as an alum, is the head coach for JV.
“Coaching is the next best thing other than playing,” Miller says.
“We love hanging out with the boys and just want them to be passionate about something. If they can have fun working towards the goal of making a successful program, I hope they can take that and become passionate about other areas of their life, setting them up to succeed.”
The Badgers come up against Liberty at home on Monday, Mar. 25 at 4 p.m.
“We’re getting better every day,” Gillaspy declares. “Come watch a game!”
UPDATE: The Badgers registered a loss against Liberty for their home game on Monday, Mar. 25 with a score of 14 – 7.
Their next game is at Liberty on Thursday, Mar. 28.
Photos courtesy of Jason Pierce