Mankato West baseball dominating opponents in 2021
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Mankato West baseball team is one of the best in the state, sitting atop the Class AAA QRF Poll and second behind Bemidji in the Coaches Poll.
The Scarlets’ only loss of the season came back on May 4 to Rochester Mayo.
“The guys are doing what we ask them to do. Pitching-wise, we’ve had a staff that’s kept an ERA under 1.20. Defensively, we make the plays we need to make. Offensively, we play a lot of different styles of baseball and have been able to score in different ways,” head coach Sam Stier said.
This Scarlets line-up is dangerous 1-9 and is averaging over nine runs per game this season by being aggressive at the plate, as well as on the bases.
Scarlets first-year head coach Sam Stier loves to put pressure on the defense by putting runners in motion and giving players independence when it comes to trying to take an extra base.
“He gives us a lot of freedom, everybody kind of knows what they can and can’t do on the base paths. There’s some guys that can steal, some guys that can’t. We take advantage of who can, and everyone knows their role,” said senior Max Goertzen.
The pitching staff is just as dominant as the offense with juniors Tanner Shumski and Zander Dittbenner leading the group in earned run average.
“I think having depth helps a lot. We can count on anybody in our rotation, and we all expect to go out there, have fun and dominate,” said Shumski.
West will be one of the favorites in a loaded Section 2AAA Tournament.
The Scarlets already picked up big wins over Marshall, St. Peter, Mankato East, Waconia and New Ulm this season, all of which are section opponents.
None of those games were particularly close, but there’s still roughly a half month of match-ups left before the section tournament.
“We say ETP all the time. ETP stands for embrace the process. Every single one of these games, we’re trying to get better at something. We’re focused on our goals for the game, not wins and losses. That’s helped us this season, and now we have to continue that path as we move into sections and get ready to compete for some of the hardware we want,” said Stier.
Mankato West returns to the diamond Thursday night at Albert Lea.
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