By CHARLIE PIETERICK
The Vashon High School Pirates baseball team is optimistic about the new season. With a solid core of returning upper-classmen and a group of talented sophomores, the Pirates should have the weapons to make a run at the league title and beyond, according to coach Steve Hall.
Assessing his team’s situation this year, Hall observed, “We’ve had solid defense and pitching over the past three years. That has allowed us to be pretty successful.” Hall has spent time at coaching clinics in the off-season working on how to move his team to the next level.
Hall acknowledged that one of the barriers to getting teams to a high level is the short spring sports season.
To make the most out of limited practice time, he has integrated live situations into practice drills.
“We want to make practice more real so that when the boys are in game situations, they know exactly what is expected of them,” Hall said.
Hall hopes this year’s Pirate team will be able to hit the ball more strategically, particularly to right field, in order to move runners.
“We will expect the boys to know what their job is when they are up at bat. We are not going to allow our batters to let the first pitch go. They may not see a better pitch during that at-bat.”
Besides providing aggressive and strategic hitting, Hall expects his runners to attack on the base-paths and force opponents’ defenses to make perfect plays to keep Pirates from scoring.
The Pirates play their home opener at 4 p.m. Monday, March 17, in a league game against Cascade Christian. They then host Charles Wright Academy at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 19.