While the Wylie Pirates made the playoffs last season, the team strived for more than they felt they accomplished and are out for vengeance in 2023.
The Pirates return several starters to the lineup, including key players coming back from injuries and healthy for the new season. Wylie finished second in District 9-6A to make the playoffs, but finished 16-16 on the season and lost in the bi-district round of the state playoffs. Head coach Beau Snodgrass hopes to see improvement on that mark and expects it for a program that is always competitive.
“We’ve got to be better than last year,” Snodgrass said. “We had a whole lot of starters with nagging injuries or missing time with injuries so we felt a little snake bitten. Hopefully, we keep guys healthy and can put a more consistent product on the field.”
Part of the improvement Snodgrass wants to see is on the mound, where the team is hoping to improve from surrendering 5.2 runs per game last season. Key situations are something the team has preached all season, and being able to come up in clutch parts of the game to turn losses into wins.
“The big thing is getting more offensive production and more big hits, but also pitching we need to throw better with two strikes and two outs,” Snodgrass said. “There were too many two-out walks and two-strike hits from our staff last season, so we’ll need to clean that up and execute when we’re ahead.”
That rotation starts with seniors David Hyde, Brayden Willoughby and Ethan Quiroga. The team has been working with their prospective starters this offseason as they prepare to lead the team into the new year. Along with the three seniors, Brady Baker will also be a key arm after getting called up to the varsity team late in the 2022 season and pitching well in the playoffs.
Willoughby is one of the several starters returning to the rotation from injury last season, and Snodgrass does not want to take it lightly on those players despite missing time.
“Our expectations for our guys is the same as any returning senior player that we’ve had,” Snodgrass said. “They’ve been with the team and watched us play and have gotten the mental reps needed to keep us going and win a lot of games.”
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