Tigers have holes to fill heading into 2021 season

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Infielder Kanyon Keese will be a key component for the Tigers this season.
Infielder Jake Gilbreath will be counted on to provide stability for the Tigers.

GLEN ROSE — Graduation left the Glen Rose baseball team with major holes to fill, but first-year head coach Freddie Cordova and his team are up for the task.

“As coaches, we need to recognize what our strengths are and make sure we play to those strengths,” said Cordova, who took over for the retired James Evans. “Addressing our weaknesses and making sure we improve every day. We graduated a very deep and talented pitching staff. We've got to find arms that can get up on the mound, throw strikes and challenge batters. We've definitely got our work cut out for us. Our kids are up for it though. We’ve got some hard-working kids that know how to get after it.”

The Tigers started practice two weeks ago, and will scrimmage Brock on Saturday in Glen Rose, and Comanche on Monday. They will have a total of five scrimmages to get ready before opening the season Feb. 25-26 at the Crowley Tournament.

The Tigers were loaded with talented seniors when the season came to an abrupt end in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cordova said his team is raring to go.

“We know we had a special team last year, but we're ready to move forward and excited to develop an identity for this year's team,” he said. “We've got some tough competition coming up in tournaments. We'll have to use the experiences from those early games to grow and mature by the time district comes around."

This year, the Tigers are young with only a handful of players with varsity experience, so Cordova said practices will be key for the young Tigers.

“We'll use these first few weeks to really emphasize and reinforce fundamentals,” he said. “There were a lot of innings of baseball that our guys missed out on last year, so just getting up to speed on the game. We're making sure we do the little things right and stressing those little things that could determine wins and losses later on in the season.”

With young players it will take time and patience while they progress in learning his style and philosophy.

“We're stressing making the routine play and playing a clean brand of defense all around,” he said. “Offensively, we want to be aggressive at the plate and on the bases. So, I'd say our style of play will be aggressive, detail-oriented and selfless.”

The Tigers will have their home opener on March 4-6 with the annual Harley Sinclair Memorial Tournament.