SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW: Wabasso baseball
WABASSO – Wabasso baseball coach Chad Olson hopes there wasn’t a regression in fundamentals that occurred with the cancellation of the 2020 season.
“Many of the players are behind in their ability to throw strikes as well as their hitting at the plate,” Olson said. “If we can improve quickly in those areas, we have a chance to see success early.”
The Rabbits return an experienced group, with 10 seniors on the 2021 roster. That group includes four starters from the 2019 team in Ty Altermatt, Carter Benz, Will Carlson and Colby Wall.
“All four of these guys will be the key to us having success this year,” Olson said. Olson also noted the importance of seniors Matthew Evink, Hunter Taylor and Gabe Martin.
Olson believes the strength of the team will be its pitching staff.
“We have three to four pitchers back from two years ago with game experience that I expect to be an advantage for us,” he said. “If these guys are able to throw two to three different pitches for strikes consistently, we will be in position to have success.”
A 19-year coaching veteran, Olson sees the importance of the small details.
“We have spent a lot of time these first two weeks focusing on fundamentals; bunting, moving runners into scoring position, cuts-relays-tags, leads at all the bases,” he said. “We would do these things anyway, but our players missed out on a lot of learning opportunities last year, and getting them caught up is a big priority for us.”
He also doesn’t want his players worrying about things they have no control over.
“My expectation every season is that we compete against every team that we face and that we only focus on the things that we can control,” Olson said. “If we execute our game plan – throw strikes, have success at the plate, and field and make accurate throws, winning and losing will take care of itself.”