The Ridgefield High School’s baseball team is gearing up for the season as the team sported a 2-2 record early in the week.
Coach Nick Allen is working to keep the boys in shape, as it will be their first full season in two years. The team lost its first game against Skyview but has picked up some victories since then.
“I would say so far it’s been up and down, as we have things to work on, but there’s been some flashes of good stuff too,” said Allen. “We’ve had some clutch hitting in spots from some guys and we feel like when we’ve got the barrel off our shoulder, we’ve swung the bats well. On the mound, we threw nine different guys in 13 innings (during the game against Skyview). All of them showed they have pitches that could get guys out, and defensively, we made all our basic plays.”
Allen said his biggest concern is the team’s current pace of play.
“We’ve had some hiccups at a few moments where I think we got overwhelmed, and so I think we’ve been practicing hard this week to solve some of those issues, like increasing the pressure on some of the guys in practice,” Allen said last week. “I think we’ll be ready to take a step forward this week.”
In the beginning, Allen said the team was slightly overwhelmed since they have a lot of “green players,” who lacked previous varsity experience.
“I think we just set a pre-pitched plan, anticipating what was going to come our way, and we were being really reactive. When we got into certain situations, we panicked a little bit. But if they just settle in and trust their ability, they’re going to be OK,” he said.
The team won their game against La Center 9-3 on March 16.
Allen said the team features some strong returning players. There’s Drew Harteloo, who is a shortstop and pitcher that Allen describes as a “mature player” and a leader on the team.
Reed Fry, a senior outfielder, also has experience.
“That veteran leadership really shows out of him,” Allen said. “You know you’re always going to get 110% from him. He had a ball at Skyview where they were at 5-0, and Reed was at full extension dive three feet off the ground. He hit the ground so hard that the ball … popped out of his glove. He just brings that kind of tough mentality to our team.”
A returning batter that stands out to Allen is Wyatt Bartroff, who has “some real pop” in his batting that can drive the ball off or over the fence.
“He’s another leader that leads by example, but is also a vocal leader and does a good job in holding guys accountable,” Allen said. “He’s a real positive kid in the dugout as well.”
He also sees potential in newer players such as Brody Masterson, who’s a junior infielder and pitcher. Masterson is an experienced player who transferred to Ridgefield from Jesuit High School in Portland. Allen said he maintains a positive attitude and is a smart player. Another new addition is Dillon Kirksey, who is a junior infielder and pitcher. He was not able to play last year because he had an injury that healed right when the team’s shortened season ended. However, Allen said he’s “ready to go, he’s a good and talented player, and he’s finally getting his chance to get out and compete, so we expect big things from him too.”
On Friday, March 18, the team won against Lynden High School 9-6 and lost to North Kitsap High School 8-6 on Saturday, March 19.
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