Head coach Bobby Swedberg is confident that his Hilmar High varsity baseball team will be competitive in the 2018 spring season.
In order to do so, the team will have to move past some of last year’s close calls and learn from them as they are already 2-1 after playing three pre-league contests so far.
“Baseball is one of those games you learn by competition and so facing a team like we just did, they hit right and come out and show up,” said Swedberg about facing Golden Valley on Monday. “We are trying to instill that in our kids and showing them playing high level baseball is a good thing.”
GV, which competes in a Division-I tier league - -the Central California Conference -- has high caliber players heading into the year and it showed after they toppled Hilmar, 18-5, in a six-inning mercy-rule ending.
But that is just the start said Swedberg.
Last year, Hilmar missed the postseason by just a couple of runs after they ended the year at 6-6 in the Trans-Valley League and 14-12 overall.
Four of the Yellowjackets’ six league losses came by one-run in each game.
“When you are losing one or two run baseball games, there are things to get better, so we are excited,” said Swedberg. “We are trying to get some of those things taken care of so that it doesn’t happen this year.”
Moving past early let downs is a part of the game and boasting players like Treven and Trent Crowley should help the team moving forward.
Treven has already tossed a no-hitter when the Yellowjackets shut out Calaveras on Feb .28.
Trent was able to show some ability on Monday, but the errors, which were well over five, led to multiple unearned runs in the process.
It is all part of the process for a team in Hilmar, which usually competes in Division-V or lower.
“I think we are expecting to compete in league a lot better than we did last year,” said Swedberg. “We lost a lot of close games last year, games we thought we had in our grasp and it didn’t work out for us, whether it was lack of preparation or concentration, small things.”
Along with the Crowley brothers, Swedberg is already seeing consistency from Landon Rocha, Dominic Dias, Jacob Diaz and catcher Tyler Amarante.
“We want to show up in league, and from there we will see where it all takes us,” said Swedberg. “We have the pitching; the hitting and we have veteran guys… we are well balanced and I think the majority of our goals right now are to get better every day for league and see where we are at the end. There are a lot of guys that have the capability of standing out this year.”
Hilmar will next host Livingston at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.