Chemistry keys 2009 success

Stopping base stealers will be as important to the Hornets as stealing them.

The beauty of having a predominantly junior squad, according to White River baseball coach Mike Williams, is players know the fundamentals and what position they are going to be playing.

There is no doubt in Williams’ mind, even as strong as the South Puget Sound League 3A is this season, his team will be more competitive in that it possesses the right chemistry of balance, speed, power and defense.

Conner Williams, an all-league selection at second base last year and an accomplished base stealer, will be moving to shortstop and Michael Anastasi will take over the chores at second base.

In an offense that likes to scratch out and manufacture runs, the source of extra base hits will probably come from first baseman Chase Myers and Dustin Stroud, who will be in charge of third base. Danny Smith will be filling some big shoes at catcher with the departure of Cody Ryckman.

The outfield will be headed Payden Lamb.

Williams said the only unknown this season is pitching.

“Jeremy Hoffman is our tried and tested senior righty,” Williams said. “He had the second most innings pitched on the team last year with 20 and he ended up with a 1-0 record and a 2.75 ERA.”

Beyond Hoffman, Williams said, the remainder of the rotation will most likely be filled out by some promising junior talent.