Trinity baseball coach Andy Frieze may be in his first yeary, but he knows how successful making it to the postseason feels. Frieze played for Trinity in high school, and experienced two state tournaments while on the team.
Last season, Trinity lost in the first round at state, but Frieze’s plan to avoid a repeat of last year is to teach the team to simply enjoy baseball.
“At the beginning of the season we came together and said we wanted to do something memorable. I want them to know how it feels to get that win at the end of the season,” Frieze said. “Baseball, if you win, usually is fun. We’re trying to teach them to play the right way.”
Trinity finished the regular season with a 17-3 record, and will play its first Class 4A regional game Monday against Smoky Valley at Maize South.
“To win in postseason we’re going to have to do a good job of getting runners on and moving them over and manufacturing runs; that’s going to be very crucial to our team,” Frieze said. “We need to just play the game fundamentally.”
Frieze credits most of his team’s success this season to senior leadership and the ability to bounce back after two early losses.
“Early in the season we lost two of our first five games,” Frieze said. “We had to make the most of our opportunities, don’t play selfish, bunt when we need to, and buy into the team aspect.”
Since the 3-2 start, Trinity has won 14 of its 15 games. The Knights have stolen 63 bases, while being thrown out only 16 times. David Warnky leads the team on offense, batting .444 with 28 RBIs, followed by Jonathon Chestnut hitting .407 with 21 RBIs. Scott Kempin threw a no-hitter, and has a 2.33 ERA in 19 innings pitched.
A lesson learned — Taking first place in the AV-CTL Division III does not satisfy Mulvane coach Daniel Myear. For the second year in a row, Mulvane finished on top of its league, but after a regional loss last seasonthe Wildcats are determined to avoid a repeat.
“Last year when we won league, I really believe we coasted it into regionals. We were the number one seed and thought things would play out for us, but it didn’t work out,” Myear said. “They understand that they’re looking to do more. They know they dropped the ball last year they know there’s a task at hand.”
Mulvane will play Rose Hill in the first round of a Class 4A regional today at Clearwater.
“Rose Hill’s going to throw their best kid. It only takes a kid to be on and it ends your season. That’s what happened last year,” Myear said. “There’s no looking to what’s going to happen in round two or game three, it’s whatever it takes to win game one.”
Connor Dempsey leads Mulvane’s pitching staff with a 0.99 ERA in 42 innings, followed by Austin Duncan with a 1.01 ERA in 28 innings. Michael Bird leads Mulvane’s offense hitting .541, followed by Ty Redington hitting .471.
“This year the kids have been extremely focused, and want to do bigger things. Whether in practice or a game, when it’s time to focus or buckle down they do that,” Myear said. “Winning the league last year and again this year gives us good experience to call upon.”