Experience could benefit Elks
The majority of the 11 seniors on Burleson’s baseball roster have had a rough go during their time on the varsity.
Elks’ coach Daniel Bruce, who is entering his fifth season leading Burleson, sees a fire and tenacity in the largest senior class he has coached at Burleson.
“They have a lot of experience,” Bruce said. “Although that experience hasn’t been great as far as wins and losses.”
Last season, Burleson went 4-10 in District 8-5A play and 12-15 overall.
Bruce said even though the Elks haven’t hit the field for a regular season game, they are playing as well as they were in the mid-season last year.
“They are mature enough that they have learned from years past,” Bruce said. “They are way ahead of where they were last season.”
The Elks open the season today at the Denton Tournament. Burleson hosts the Elk Classic March 2-4 and plays March 9-11 at the Fort Worth Western Hills Tower Classic. The Elks open District 9-5A play March hosting Granbury.
Bruce is counting heavily on the pitching of Kayden Cassidy, Christian Hallack and Hayden Alexander who are vying for Tuesday and Friday district starting roles. JT Smith, Trey Lopez and Logan Hammit also see time on the mound during tournaments.
The Elks return position players at each spot in the field who started last season or saw extended playing time.
Nik Sanchez will play catcher while Hallack and Parker Shaha will see time at first base. Back at second base is Nick Bengochea.
Logan Pruisner will also see time at second base. Hayden Alexander and JT Smith will play at shortstop. Trey Lopez is back at third base.
Burleson returns all three outfielders. Logan Hammitt is back in left field, Cassidy will start in center and Brady Camp will play there when Cassidy pitches. Davin White returns in right field.
Burleson will be better this season according to Bruce while Centennial is going to be the favorite.
“I hope that most people overlook us,” Bruce said. “These kids just play well together. They are ready to compete. They are tired of the L’s instead of the W’s.”