Legacy baseball has found its pitching resources are much like that of the shape of the mound itself.
New talent has to climb the incline, take a stand on the rubber at the top and then graduate down the other side.
Legacy head coach David Walden said the Broncos have four players coming back this season, but more than half the squad is new and the pitchers are all new as well.
“Last year, we had two main pitchers, and this year the pitching staff is all new,” Walden said. “We’re progressing, as it happened last year as well.”
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Two pitchers for Legacy didn’t pitch on the varsity last year, and it was that same way the year prior to that.
“We graduated real heavy last year and it’ll happen again this year,” Walden said of his train-them-then-graduate-them pitching resources.
The repeating cycle of pitchers is at least consistent in other ways for the Broncos’ season.
“Last year at this time we were 7-9 and this year we’re 8-8 going into district,” Walden noted. “And we finished the year going 13-1,” Walden added regarding the last year’s district championship and a run to the regional semifinals.
Legacy has already picked up on that pattern, going 2-0 after district wins over Red Oak and Waxahachie last week.
Wins over Red Oak, 9-2, and Waxahachie, 9-4, may be a glimpse of what’s to come.
This year is a new year and many of the new players are unproven just yet.
“This year, I never know,” Walden said of the sporadic performances in the non-district schedule. “There’s some really good players down there and we’ll see if they play well or not. In the first three tournaments last year we didn’t play well and then came together, and I hope they come together this year, too.”
The four returners for Legacy have already shown they are ready to pick up where they left off. Their play may well prop up the Broncos until the younger varsity starters come of age.
“We’re still young on the mound and at other positions,” Walden said. “They just need more game-time experience to make the jump from junior varsity. I think they’re making the adjustment. We’ve still got 12 district games remaining.”
Of those again taking the field for Legacy, Walden said catcher Cory Murray is part of the foundation for this season. Murray is a Weatherford College signee.
Sam Mahofski started all last season at shortstop and had been playing well before a hit to the face in the sixth game sidelined his progress. “He’s been out a week and just now coming back,” Walden noted.
Karson Houston, an outfielder also seeing time as a pitcher for Legacy, is back, as is Marcus Perez, who anchors center field.
In the Waxahachie game, Houston registered a triple and Perez a double.
Cole Hearrean, a senior pitcher, did throw a playoff game for the Broncos last season and is back to assist in the pitching duties.
Legacy will have their hands full in this year’s district race, as Walden said that all the teams are better than last year.
“They should all be quite a bit better and I’ll be surprised if anyone runs through (the district schedule) like we did last year,” Walden said.
“Every Tuesday and Friday is going to be a dog fight for everyone in this league,” Walden added. “It’s a well-balanced district. There’s going to be a log jam and close games.”
An added benefit of the extended season last year included the additional month of practice time. This allowed the younger players to experience the varsity intensity and be a part of the dugout throughout the playoff run.
“We’ve got a lot of new kids trying to learn how to play varsity baseball and they’re getting better week,” Walden said. “But time will tell.”