Spring is around the corner and 49ers baseball is back on the diamond. Tim Gloyd, who is entering his eighth season as the Yuba College Head coach, hope’s to bounce-back after a rough 2004 season in which Yuba finished 9-27, and dead last in their conference.
This season Gloyd has a more experienced team with a veteran presence and great team chemistry. Gloyd said, “To have success (In the Bay Valley Conference League) our team has to play defense and throw strikes.” The revamped 49ers pitching staff will look to do just that-throw strikes, and give their defense an opportunity to make plays.
The revamped 49ers pitching staff will have right-handed freshman, Gary Kenyon taking on the burden as the staff ace. Kenyon has a deceiving underneath release with excellent control-a much needed quality to help overturn last season’s control problems. Yuba allowed 220 bases-on-balls, worst in their league.
The sophomore southpaw, William Meier will take on Gloyd’s No. 2 spot in the rotation-Meier, a transfer from St. Mary’s College, has an impressive curveball and change-up and throws in the mid 80’s.
East Nicolaus High protégé James Thomas, who throws in the upper 80’s, will round out the rotation. Thomas last season went 1-0 with a 4.46 era in 36.l innings pitched for the 49ers.
Closing games out for Yuba will be the sophomore right-hander, Jason Boberg.
The 49ers are well equipped on the offensive side, led by the highly scouted, five-tool player, Matt Suleski. “He can do everything,” added Gloyd. As a freshman, Suleski led the 49ers in hitting with a .369 batting average and 24 RBI’s. Fresno State, San Diego State, Davis, and Mississippi State are all scouting him.
Starting shortstop Neil Holmes who had a strong freshman season will be a big contributor to their offense this season. Also adding to the mix will be second baseman John Garcia and catcher Darren DeWeese.
Last season, DeWeese batted a respectable .286, and showed a good eye at the plate, walking 27 times.
Gloyd intends to capitalize on his teams’ speed by being aggressive on the base-paths using an array of hit-and-runs. Steve Shaver is Yuba’s best base-runner; followed by freshman Deno Gellepes and Holmes.
Coach Gloyd explained, “To make the playoffs we have to come in third place (In the BVC Eastern Conference).”
It will not be easy; Yuba is an extremely competitive league with powerhouse Sacramento City ranked first in the state, leading the pack. In addition, Sierra, American River, and Consumnes River are a few obstacles that the 49ers must hurdle to reach their goal of making playoffs.
However, there are 26 Yuba College players and 3 coaches that are looking to drop some jaws this season and make the playoffs.