Panther baseball team poised to make run to post season

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Duncanville's junior catcher Alec Sanchez makes the tag at the plate during an early scrimmage against Mesquite(Ricardo Martin photo)

By Noah Vice, Sports Writer

The weather is getting warmer, basketball is coming to an end and the flowers are starting to bloom: it’s baseball season. More importantly, it’s time for Duncanville Baseball.

February 23 marks the beginning of a new season for this rallied group. Last year’s 4-21 record left a bitter taste for this team and they’re ready to prove otherwise.

The Panthers have some key starters returning from last year’s team including, centerfielder Osvaldo Salinas, 2nd baseman Raul Franco-Gonzales, catcher Alec Sanchez, and shortstop/RHP George Trevino. These guys will prove to be the cornerstone for this team since they’ve added another year of varsity experience under their belt.

Although this young team now has experience, they still have to prove they can produce offensively. Missed opportunities at the plate and runners left on base killed the Panther’s chances at winning last year. If Duncanville can turn this side of the ball around they will be able to run for playoffs.

To survive in this district you not only have to put the ball in play, but you need to produce outs from the mound. The Panthers haven’t had an effective rotation since Tony Dominguez and Jordan Dailey graduated in 2014.

Sophomore George Trevino had his fair share of starts on the bump last year and has been developing his array of pitches. Also, to Duncanville’s benefit second team all-district right hand pitcher, Humberto Guerrero and right hand pitcher Rolando Arellano (who’s last year’s season was cut short due to a shoulder injury) are back and will be adding much needed depth to this lineup.

In addition to returning upperclassmen, head coach Scott Fahey’s team has an abundance of young talent. This year’s varsity squad has four freshman including, Adrian Castro, Noah Martel, Nick Chavez, and right hand pitcher Jonathan Pineda.

Fahey has been developing this class of 2019 since their 7th grade year in Duncanville Baseball’s middle school program. Established in the 2010-11 school year, this program has been an effective way of letting Duncanville’s coaching staff teach kids wanting to play baseball in high school the skills they need to be successful in the sport.

Fahey will also be assisted by new assistant Kindle Ladd who was 1st team all district and all-area player his senior year at McKinney North High School on top of a 1.99 ERA and 268 strikeouts. He entered coaching after four years with Oklahoma as a player.

His knowledge and experience of the game should not only prove him to be an effective part of this coaching staff but should produce results on the field. Coach Ladd believes every opportunity is a chance to get better and I can’t find another mentality that coincides better with Coach Fahey’s.

Duncanville is definitely a sleeper pick to make playoffs this year in District 7-6a. Teams such as Midlothian, Mansfield, and even SGP will prove to be a challenge for the Panthers but they most definitely have a shot.

Last year’s season left this organization in shambles, but they reloaded quite successfully. If they can put their pieces in the right places and win the games that they need to, we’ll see these guys playing in May in pursuit of a State Championship.