The Pierce College baseball team is getting ready for the ’09 season, and looking to take a run at the title.
The Brahmas won 11 of their last 13 games last season, and came just short of a playoff berth. They finished 15-13 in conferences, just a game behind Valley College, and 24-20 overall.
Now, a year later, the Brahmas are back and ready to take another shot. They have some key players from last year who will return, as well as some new players who will look to make an impact in their first year with Pierce.
Sophomore Will Myrick was one of the key figures in the Brahma’s lineup last year, and he will return this season looking to contribute yet again. Myrick’s .389 batting average and eight home runs were both second on the team to Calvin Culver, who played in his last year at Pierce last season. Myrick lead the team in RBIs with 55.
“Will coming back is obviously a big part of the lineup,” said head coach Joe Arnold.
The Brahmas will also have some pitchers returning. The most prominent of those is Jonathan Bromberg, who recently accepted a scholarship to Fresno State. Last year, Bromberg had a record of 3-2, with a 4.83 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
Also returning are relief pitchers Matt Nesbit, J.P. O’Leary, and John Degerman, although according to Arnold, whether they will pitch out of the bullpen or in the starting rotation is yet to be seen.
Nick Rodarte, formerly of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, is one of the freshman players expected to make an impact at Pierce. Rodarte was named MVP of the Mission League in his last high school season, boasted a record of 11-1 on the mound, and was the winning pitcher in the CIF championship game. Another is James Wharton of Chatsworth High School, who was named Player of the Year in the West Valley League, and also Carlos Gonzalez of Kennedy High School, who was player of the year of his league as well.
“We have three freshmen that were conference MVPs in high school,” said Pierce Athletic Director Bob Lofrano. “That bodes well, but now they have to show it on the field at our level.”
With all of these pieces in place, Arnold feels that the Brahma’s biggest strength is their depth, both on the hill and in the lineup.
“That’s the most important component of a good team,” said Arnold. “You have to have good pitching, and you have to have depth.”
However, Arnold also feels that defense could be the Brahma’s main weakness.
“If there’s a weak link on the team, it’s playing catch,” he said. “We’re trying to address that.”
With all the talent the Brahmas have, their chances of success this year are very high. If everything can come together the way Arnold and his staff hope they will, then this year’s season should be a lot longer than last year.
“If we can check our egos and all have the same common goal, I think this team can go as far as they want to go,” said Arnold.