BRUNSWICK’S THOMAS HANSON winds up for a throw during a pitchers/catchers practice at Brunswick High School on Tuesday.

BRUNSWICK’S THOMAS HANSON winds up for a throw during a pitchers/catchers practice at Brunswick High School on Tuesday.

BRUNSWICK

Baseball is back.

This week, local high school pitchers and catchers are reporting for their first practices of the season. On Tuesday, Morse and Brunswick were each avoiding the snow by practicing in the gym. Most programs will hold tryouts next week, giving pitchers and catchers a few days head start to loosen up throwing arms and get back into a baseball mindset.

RILEY LAMARRE of Morse tosses the ball inside the Bath Middle School gym during a pitchers/catchers practice on Tuesday.

RILEY LAMARRE of Morse tosses the ball inside the Bath Middle School gym during a pitchers/catchers practice on Tuesday.

Morse

Coach Garrett Olson and the Shipbuilders lost nine seniors from last season, and have a lot of new faces on the squad this year. Part of pitchers and catchers week this season is coming together as a team.

“The first couple weeks is really some team building exercises,” he said. “Getting everybody back in the groove to play some baseball.”

Physically, the week is important, too.

“The main part of this week is getting the guys throwing again,” Olson said. “Start to build up some arm strength.”

“We’re just trying to get our arms loose and get ready for the season,” pitcher Jacob Cressey said. “Get ready for next week during tryouts. It’s really important. Hopefully just have your arm ready throughout the whole season, so we can go deep in the playoffs.”

Cressey, along with Nicholas Doughty, will be two key players for Morse, returning with pitching experience.

“In high school baseball, pitching kind of runs the show,” Olson said. “Those guys are going to keep us, naturally, in games just with their pitching.”

Another returning upperclassman is Ricky Warren, who “has some good velocity and could be a real good arm for” Morse, and Tait Nygaard, who swung between varsity and JV last season, “is a guy that I expect to come up this year and really make some contributions,” according to Olson.

Olson added that a lot of this week is guys getting used to a new body — some players come back six inches taller or with 20 pounds more of muscle, and it takes time to adjust.

“It’s exciting to see, and a lot of these kids are coming out and finding out their new body,” he said. “All of the sudden, this 33-inch bat swings a lot easier than it did last year. It’s tough to tell what you’ve really got until you get out on the field.”

Despite Monday’s snow storm pushing the team back a day, Olson said they’re “way ahead of where we were last year.” Until the snow melts, the Shipbuilders will practice and throw on the turf of McMann Field, allowing them to throw long-distance.

Cressey said the team’s end goal is to get to the playoffs every year, and that they’ll be working hard to get better every day and go beyond what they did last season.

Brunswick

For Brunswick coach Luke Potter and the Dragons, this week is all about strength and conditioning. On Tuesday, his players were both throwing on the court, and lifting in the weight room.

“It’s a mechanical week,” Potter said. “We’re not trying to get guys up to 90, we’re not trying to get guys up to 100, we want to get them mechanically comfortable. Start thinking about pitching and the craft of pitching.”

“We’re really just trying to drill down the fundamentals,” pitcher Thomas Hanson said. “Get the pitching mechanics down, proper footwork, arm motion, stuff like that.”

Part of Potter’s process this week is getting his team prepared for tryout-related activities next week. He said that by the time the week is over, the players will be familiar with some of the warm-ups and language of the coaching staff, and others will be able to learn from them. His only complaint is that he doesn’t have more than one week for development.

“It’s a tone-setting week,” Potter said. “Even though we don’t have everybody here, it’s a tone-setting week. We start the dialogue, we’re starting the discussions about commitment and pride and how we’re going to execute things.”

Potter said he and his coaches are developing a lot of pitchers this season — two of which are standout football players Hanson and Will Bessey. Hanson, who played on the team last season but is new to pitching, says this first week goes a long way.

“It certainly does help,” he said. “Get here, get the baseball juices flowing. Get to know the new guys that you really haven’t met before.”

Elias Henze and Alex Larson, two returning seniors that have pitched before, will be key pitchers on the staff for Brunswick this season. As for the younger arms, Potter said this week will also be used to see where they are, and what kind of contributions they can provide to the varsity squad.

“I expect us to compete,” Potter said. “We’ve got young guys, and the goal for us is to get to a level where we can play every game hard and play every game all the way through. “

Hanson said that, despite losing some key guys from last season, the Dragons can compete if they “spray the ball around” on offense this year.


Comments are not available on this story.