Mountain View Yellowjackets: Strong defense, senior leadership to benefit Yellowjackets

By Hannah Burney Published March 10, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
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In his fifth year, Mountain View High School head baseball coach Doug Turner wants to teach his players to turn up the intensity and focus of their game.

“We’re trying to get the kids to play the game full speed. Our motto is, if we make a mistake, we want to make it at full speed,” Turner said. “Our kids are taking to that. They’re not tentative. We want them to allow themselves the chance to be great.”

The Yellowjackets were 16-12 and placed second in the 3A-1 Conference but were defeated 10-2 by Corning in the first round of the Region 3 Tournament. Turner said his players would rely on their defense to carry them further in regionals this season.

“Our defense is our strong suit. We’re preaching to our pitchers to not beat themselves and give their defense a chance to play. They don’t have to strike everyone out. We want our pitchers to be good game managers and keep a good rhythm and flow to the game,” Turner said.

While the team has strong senior leadership in both the infield and outfield, Turner said, the team has a group of young pitchers who will be working on honing their skills this year.

“We’re trying to redevelop a young staff of pitchers. We’re trying to focus on competing from pitch to pitch instead of game to game,” he said.

BEST HITTER FOR AVERAGE: Seniors Preston Callahan, center fielder/pitcher, and Greg Simons, second baseman, both hit more than .400 last year, Turner said.

BEST POWER HITTER: Turner didn’t hesitate to name junior Hunter Buchanan, catcher/pitcher, as the player who brings a powerful swing to the plate. “Hunter is our best power hitter, no doubt,” Turner said.

BEST SPEED: Callahan and Buchanan. “They are both really quick,” Turner said. He added that both players anticipate the game well, which puts them in the position to make plays.

BEST FIELDER: Turner praised Tanner Leonard, senior left fielder/center fielder, for his skills in the outfield. “He’s been doing a great job for us. He’s also hitting the ball extremely well lately,” Turner said.

Turner also mentioned senior Lane Long, right fielder. “Lane has really improved in the outfield, and we expect him to do well this season.”

BEST ARM: Derrick Broyles, first baseman/pitcher, and pitcher Brock Simons, both seniors, drew Turner’s attention concerning the team’s pitching strength. “They both threw a lot for us last year and did a great job, and they are returning with the most experience this year,” he said.

Tri-Lakes Edition Page Designer Hannah Burney can be reached at 870-926-0882 or hburney@arkansasonline.com.

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