Spring Season Preview - SBVC Baseball

Spring Season Preview - SBVC Baseball

SBVC Baseball looks to continue the recipe for success that has brought the team the past three consecutive Foothill Conference titles; and it is expected that early in the 2016 season head coach Bill Mierzwik will pass the 600 win plateau.

Last season, SBVC had a remarkable year of hard fought wins, concluding the 2015 season with a record of 23-15; in which they had a 13 game winning streak, stretching from March 10th to April 14th. The 2015 season also saw 13 players selected as All-Foothill Conference, and the entire starting outfield and half of the infield selected to the first team. The sole freshman selected All-Foothill Conference was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and spent this past fall playing in the Arizona Fall League. Once again, SBVC achieved a 4th consecutive playoff appearance and Coach Mierzwik concluded his 23rd season, collecting his 593rd coaching victory.

Coach Mierzwik is delighted to be so close to the 600 win milestone, with all 24 seasons here at SBVC. Players from last season that are returning this year are: sophomore infielder Ryan Redford (Corona Centennial), sophomore utility Connor McCoy (Highland Citrus Valley), sophomore infielder Gerardo Torreblanca (Fontana H.S.) and sophomore right handed pitcher Grant Gooselaw (Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon).

Coach Mierzwik expects from the returning players nothing but leadership and examples for the new players. This season, leadership is going to be crucial because there are a lot of new players that have not played college level baseball before.

The new players have the talent and are absolutely prepared to represent SBVC baseball well on the field and in the classroom. Coach Mierzwik states "day by day the players are improving on their batting and pitching techniques. The question remains can they apply those techniques while going through the fire of competing on the field?"  This year's freshmen haven't gone through the pressure of playing this level baseball; however, Coach Mierwzik feels the new recruits have proven that they are up for the challenge to play ball.

Pitching staff rotation for this spring is still pending. There is a great deal of potential from players, but there will be no official decisions until further down the road in the season.

Academics and baseball go hand and hand. Coach Mierwzik and his coaching staff's job is to make sure the players are prepared in the classroom as much as on the field.  Their ultimate job is pushing each player to the next level, whether it is choosing to transfer to a 4-year university or being drafted as a professional baseball player. When student athletes are making good grades in the classroom, then coaching staff knows they have done their part in making a well-rounded athlete.

The outcome of the 2016 season that Coach Mierzwik envisions is one in which the team improves on the field and personally. He wants the players to come together as a team mirroring a family-like atmosphere. The family atmosphere will take care of winning and losing games itself, because the players will encourage each other to believe in themselves and the team. Of course, making their fifth consecutive playoff berth will be a continuing goal throughout the season, along with growing a family atmosphere of encouragement and putting their best effort out on the field. These factors can lead to winning games and making it to the playoffs.

The words of wisdom that Coach Mierzwik believes and wants to motivate his team with are: "Be you and know your strength, don't try to be someone you're not by playing outside your skill set. Just play with what you know you are worth."

Article written by Ryun Oddman
Information, Photos & Story provided by SBVC Sports Information