Members of the Marysville Elite 16U baseball team are from left, front row, Ethan Spurgeon, Ty Shaw, Jeremiah McNeil and Marcus Belt; second row, Matt Lybarger, Bailey Wade, Ryan Nichols, Dustin Hein and Connor Andricks; back row, assistant coach Garrett North, Jacob Dutter, Owen Haggy, Zach Monnin, Justin DeHoff and head coach Jacob Wright.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The Marysville Elite 16U baseball team got the 2019 summer season off to a slow start.
Things, though, have improved as the Monarchs stand just a game under .500 going into the final portion of the season.
“We weren’t making adjustments well at the plate,” said head coach Jacob Wright, who is a former Monarch diamond standout. “We went back to doing a lot of mental work during practices and focused a lot on getting our signs down.”
The work has paid off as the Monarchs will take a 5-7 record into Tuesday’s scheduled home game against the Columbus Cobras.
“We just came up with a ‘grinder’ type of mentality,” said Wright. “We knew we had to make some adjustments in the batter’s box.”
The mental work has helped four members of the team post batting averages well above .300.
Bailey Wade leads the squad at .382, followed by Justin DeHoff (.375), Dustin Hein (.346) and Jacob Dutter (.346).
Wright admits he cracked down on the team following the difficult start.
“We’ve worked a lot on being disciplined and we practice pretty hard,” he said. “We’ve gotten better at getting down our mechanics and I feel our baseball ‘IQ’ has also improved.
“We’ve also become more aggressive on the base paths.”
While the Monarchs are a 16U team, they have played a number of games against older competition.
“We’ve played in several 17U tournaments this season,” said Wright. “It’s been a good schedule against more experienced players.
“Playing that type of schedule is helping us put together a quality team on the field.”
Wright feels the experience the younger Monarchs gain this summer will go a long way toward their future diamond careers.
“We want to teach them what they need to learn and instill an ethic of working hard,” he said. “That will help them when it comes to preparing for their spring high school season next year.”
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