It took a while for the Englewood Youth Sports Association’s Under 13 baseball team to adjust to the higher level of competition in their new …
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It took a while for the Englewood Youth Sports Association’s
Under 13 baseball team to adjust to the higher level of competition
in their new league, but they have rebounded and with the May 27
victory, have put together eight wins in a row.
The team plays in the competitive Jefferson County League. To
make it as fair as possible, the league is divided into three
levels. Because the Pirates had a good season last year, the team
had to move up to a higher level.
Englewood flexed its bats at the plate May 27, coming back to
edge out the Front Range Falcons, 8-5.
Coach Dale Schrock talked about his team during breaks in the
action at the May 27 contest.
“We are 8-4 at this point and in fifth place, plus we have won
seven in a row,” he said. “We did start off slowly but, as the kids
got used to playing together and to the higher level of
competition, we have begun to win games. I think the big key is we
are hitting the baseball so much better and, at the same time, we
are playing better defense than early in the season.”
He said getting used to better pitching at the higher level of
competition contributed to better run production. There also were
changes in the practice routine, which includes using the pitching
machine more frequently.
The Pirates are primarily a veteran team as nine of the 13 guys
on the roster played on Schrock’s 12 and Under team last year.
Catcher Gerardo Gutierrez is one of the veterans on the
He said the move to the higher level of competition means the
team sees consistently better pitching. He said now, pitchers
usually have two or three pitches while last year most of the guys
just threw fastballs.
Gutierrez moved behind the plate a couple seasons ago and said
he likes the position.
“It is challenging but it also is fun,” he said. “I like it
because you basically are part of every play we make on defense.
That makes it fun back there.”
He said the coaches and his teammates have helped him become a
better catcher and helped him hit the ball better.
However, he quickly noted he still has techniques to work on,
including doing a better job of stopping pitches in the dirt and
making a consistently stronger and more accurate throw when a
runner is trying to steal a base.
Teammate Taylor Harris is one of the new players on the team,
joining the Pirates this season.
Harris is a member of the team’s hitting staff plus, when not on
the mound, he plays shortstop.
“I like pitching the best,” he said. “As a pitcher, I have
control of the game and the tempo of play.”
He noted he is a better pitcher now than he was at the start of
the season. Harris said the coaches and a lot of practice have
enabled him to throw the ball a lot harder now than early in the
year. However, he was quick to note that, while he does a pretty
good job of locating his pitches, he is still working to improve
his accuracy and hitting the spot where the catcher wants the ball
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