Baseball Insider: Leadership lifts Trimble Tech to hot start

Posted Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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At Fort Worth Trimble Tech, the boys basketball team has won 20-plus games for six straight years, but the baseball team has matched that just once in the same stretch.

This year, the baseball team is emerging as a force in District 7-4A, boasting a 3-1 record early.

Trimble Tech (7-9,) is two seasons removed from a district title, but the Bulldogs’ current success is a vast improvement from eight total wins in 2013.

“Last year, I struggled getting guys to be leaders and doing it the right way and staying positive,” coach James Reid said. “It was just a really bad year last year. We struggled at everything.”

With nine seniors this season, it’s amazing what an off-season can do.

The mark of this year’s Trimble Tech squad is leadership, which was nonexistent in the past, Reid said.

On the field, Emilio Martinez is Tech’s everything. He serves as the team’s pitching ace in many games. When he’s not on the mound, he’s a starting catcher. No matter where he plays defensively, he also has posted the team’s best offensive numbers through the season as well.

“He’s a stud,” Reid said.

Pitching was a chasm last year after Trimble Tech lost all its experience on the mound following the 2012 district championship year.

Behind Martinez is Pedro Cuellar, a sophomore who has stepped into a much bigger role pitching after limited time on the mound last season.

Emotionally, Reid has leaned on senior second baseman Chris Perez to keep the team motivated.

“I put it on his shoulders and he took it on, and he’s been doing really well doing that,” Reid said. “That’s really it, leadership, and staying positive and staying together instead of getting on each other. That’s kind of what we did a little too much of last year, getting on each other instead of picking each other up.”

While Tech has had success early in district, that leadership will be tested by what Reid said is a much more challenging district than in 2012, when Tech finished in a first-place tie.

Tech must still face district powers like Granbury and state-ranked Aledo to continue its streak of success.

However, Reid’s mantra to his squad is that every day is a new day where anyone can come out on top. And first place is Trimble Tech’s goal this season.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” Reid said. “I tell them we’re just as good as those other teams on any given day.”

Carroll stays hot

Southlake Carroll (17-1, 3-0 District 4-5A) has begun the District 4-5A schedule just as hot as its one-loss nondistrict schedule.

Behind starting pitchers Ben Leeper and Joe Heineman, Carroll is 3-0 in district play, outscoring opponents 23-5.

Leeper has picked up two of the wins in 12 2/3 innings pitched, allowing four earned runs. Heineman allowed no runs in his one district outing, going six innings.

In the two games in which he wasn’t the starting pitcher, Heineman has paced the Dragons at the plate, going 2 for 4 against Keller Central and 3 for 3 with an RBI and a walk against Richland.

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