Young Skyline baseball team weathering the stormMay 08, 2023 11:47AM ● By Daniel Olsen
Junior Brooks Walker. (Photo courtesy Brad Leinberger)
It wasn’t until the second week of April that the Skyline Eagles baseball team had their first outdoor practice.
“I try to limit our practice time to two and a half hours,” coach Eric Morgan said. “It’s unfortunate that we just had our first practice outside. We’ve been working indoors on the basketball court. I try to keep them engaged and focused. They see the light at the end of the tunnel now that they are finally able to get outside.”
The Eagles have had a slow start, but are still battling in the region standings.
“The key to finishing the season strong is confidence,” Morgan said. “We have really good players, but we are just a little inexperienced. We are just as good as other teams, but we need to stay mentally confident and rise to the occasion.”
Several sophomore players have stepped up to help the team be competitive.
“Charlie Billick is a sophomore who has been a utility man for us,” Morgan said. “He plays second base and in the outfield. Benson Johnson is also a sophomore. He has done a really good job defensively and has been competitive at bat.”
In addition to focusing on offensive firepower, one challenge in coaching baseball in high school is managing the bullpen of young pitchers.
“It’s always a challenge in high school,” Morgan said. “Typically, the pitchers with the best arms are also position players. It’s really about managing the arm. We do the right things to prepare for the game and then take care of them after the game. We try not to have them throw too much in practice. If they throw a certain amount of pitches then we give them rest.”
Some might count the Eagles out, but the coaching staff believes in this young team to keep progressing.
“I think experience will be the biggest thing,” Morgan said. “The more games we play, the more comfortable the kids will get. We only have two seniors on the team. The more time we get outside to practice and play games, the better we will become.”
The Skyline Eagles will wrap up their regular season on May 11 against the Murray Spartans which will be a senior night on their home field. So far they have plenty to be proud of, but they aren’t done yet.
“This season has been a challenge,” Morgan said. “We haven’t had a lot of practice time on the field. We just had our first practice on the baseball field. It feels nice to take fly balls. We were stuck inside before throwing squishy balls. We were competitive against all four teams in the tournament in St. George. We are a super young team. They will be challenged as they are stepping into varsity and going up against varsity pitching.” λ