Turlock Christian baseball has high hopes of a successful season and head coach Bill York and his staff are doing all they can to prepare this team for a lengthy postseason run.
The Eagles of TC are coming off back-to-back league titles in the Central California Athletic Alliance after going 9-3 last season and then 13-1 in 2018.
Over the last two seasons in the CCAA, the Eagles have gone 22-4.
Unfortunately, both years ended in the D-VII Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, but this season could potentially be the year where they get past that.
Heading into Friday, the Eagles had won their first pre-league contest against Denair High, after shutting out the Coyotes in a 16-0 performance on Wednesday.
This year, head coach Bill York and his team are looking extremely deep and talented at nearly every position.
They graduated just three seniors from last year’s squad and they return the rest.
That group of returners includes three four-year varsity starters for the Eagles in Ryan Leonesio, Howie Skinner and Markie Delgadillo.
The group of returners for TC also includes three that were starters and two who were first team all-league selections in the CCAA. Those sophomores are Matt Leonesio and Julian Espinoza among six on the current roster.
The team also has four freshmen that includes standout Gavin Farinha, who York expects heavy innings from.
Last year, the Eagles batted .340 as a team while the offense scored 194 runs in 26 games played.
But they have standouts all around and athletes who their primary focus is baseball.
“I’ve got a solid nine guys that are just baseball. Some small schools struggle to get that many, we are blessed,” said York.
While the offense looks capable of racking up runs and making it a high scoring affair, especially after scoring 16 runs in their first game, York said the team prides themselves on their defense.
“We have a legit shortstop in Ryan Leonesio, he is going to hold us down. It's interesting, we have eight guys that can throw. We are talking they are ready to go, especially for our Division, but are pretty deep pitching wise, long as we get timely hits we will compete.”
TC will open up league play against Elliot Christian at 6 p.m. March 17.
“We have finished 1st place two years in a row, looking to three peat. We have loftier goals with getting into playoffs, pretty much the same four teams battling last year and I expect an even crazier battle,” York added. “We are expecting a battle from Big Valley Christian, but we are up to the challenge.”