Catcher Slaten Burris looks to throw out a Yuma runner in the first of Saturday’s two baseball games. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications
Members of the 2019 Holyoke High School baseball team are pictured from left, front row, Tuff Sigler, Alexis Vega, Seth Watson, manager Ty Sandquist Dirks, Slaten Burris and Jesus Trejo; second row, Kaison Kinnie, coach Marcus Kammer, coach Sam Distefano, coach Brendan Mayden, coach Jimmy French and Cade Killin; and back row, Miles Sprague, Blake Mosenteen, Caleb Deaver, Hunter Bergstrom and Mauro Morales. Not pictured is Cameron Skager. — Jim Powell Photography
Losses to Yuma mean Holyoke will face Wiggins in districts
May 4 marked the end of the regular season for Holyoke High School baseball. Though the visiting Yuma team swept the doubleheader, Holyoke still secured the No. 2 seed for the Friday, May 10, district tournament in Akron.
In Saturday’s games, Yuma won 8-0 and 17-7, ending up No. 1 in the district. As such, Yuma will face the winner of a May 7 game between No. 4 Wray and No. 5 Akron at 10 a.m. May 10. Immediately after that, Holyoke will play No. 3 Wiggins. The winners of those two games will then face off in the championship game.
Champions from each of the seven district tournaments will advance to regionals the following weekend. An additional nine teams will also qualify based on RPI.
Early on in the 2019 season, Holyoke and Wiggins played each other, and the Dragons came out ahead. “We know Wiggins is a good ball club that has continued to improve over the course of the year,” coach Sam Distefano said. “As a team we will review the last time we played Wiggins, and we’ll look at the pitchers they used as well as the Wiggins hitters that had success against us.”
In addition to drawing on the previous experiences, Distefano is looking to see high energy, quality at-bats and execution on defense. One of the more difficult things to prepare for is mentally handling moments of adversity.
“During the playoffs, everything is more intense and magnified,” he said. “That’s what makes it fun and exciting, but it can also make it overwhelming, especially for some of our players that may have never experienced or haven’t had a lot of experience in win or go-home games.”
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