Salt River High School’s varsity baseball team wrapped up the season with a 4-10 record. The season ended on a good note with a 4-8 victory over New Way Academy. Upperclassmen included juniors Taden Peck, Jeffery Schurz and Melvin Tso along with the sole senior, Jacob Juan.
Assistant baseball coach Kino Reed said an important part of the team were the junior high and freshman players, some of whom had never played baseball previously. The team developed throughout the season as the new players learned the game quickly. Freshman Damon Marez pitched a majority of the games, making tremendous improvement. Freshman Jacob Schurz took to learning the position of catcher and eventually started almost every game as catcher.
The high school baseball squad was led by head coach Simon Smith and assistant coaches Kendall Main and Reed. The group kept a positive outlook this year.
“With a team this young, it is exciting to watch the students learn so much, at times learning the game almost instinctively,” said Reed. “The future [for the] SRHS baseball team looks optimistic, as all but one player is a returnee.”
Coach Smith added how the Eagles are a talented young team with a great future in the Canyon Athletic Association high school conference. The Eagles started seventh- and eighth-graders in many games, which was valuable learning experience for them.
“They did fine. We also had about half a dozen freshmen on the team,” mentioned Smith. “We are excited about the future of this young Eagles baseball team. They can go far in the coming years.”
One season highlight was from the game against Our Lady of Sorrows High School. Even though the Eagles lost an exciting and fun-to-watch game, the OLS coach paid a great compliment to the SRHS Eagles after the game—specifically to Marez, who held the No. 1-ranked OLS team scoreless after three innings. He said that only one other team gave OLS a tougher game all season. In the game against New Way Academy, that same pitcher struck out nine batters and threw a no-hitter using an effective combination of accurate curves and fastballs.
Other highlights included a strong comeback against Heritage Mesa to counter a 17-0 start, although Salt River ultimately fell short in that game, 14-18.
WhileSchurz new to the position this year, Smith said “he did an ‘Iron Man’ job of catching” in just about every game this season, without hesitating or complaining.
Coaches Smith, Reed and Main would like to thank the supporters, families and friends of the team and also thank the SRHS teaching staff for encouraging the baseball players and for helping them with academic eligibility.