Legion team ready to go
Baseball players prepare for state tournament, keep game in perspective
After pitching in a tournament in June, Josh Satterwhite figured something out about the game of baseball.
“I got spanked,” he said about the tournament in Omaha. “That’s when I realized that this game is all about having fun. I wasn’t having fun that day. I was too serious.”
Satterwhite, along with Chris Winder, Anthony Flores and Jordan Williams, are four to-be-sophomores who have helped the Moffat County Legion Post 62 B-team reach the state tournament.
“The young guys taught the older guys how to have fun,” coach Bob Satterwhite said. “The young guys keep it light.”
None of the four saw very much varsity action last year, but all have contributed to the success of the Bulldogs this summer.
To see how the young men have progressed, look no further than Josh Satterwhite’s performance in the July 21 to 25 division tournament.
Satterwhite hit five home runs and drove in 18 runs.
“They’ve all come a long way, and especially Josh,” junior-to-be Bryan Richards said.
In one game against Evergreen, the pitcher intentionally walked Richards to load the bases.
Not a bad move considering Richards has 29 home runs this season.
Josh Satterwhite disagreed.
“I just said, ‘that was stupid,'” he said before hitting a grand slam.
Bob Satterwhite said the thing that makes these young guys different is that they don’t panic in pressure situations.
“They have absolutely no fear of the guy throwing the hard fastball or biting curve,” he said.
He also said they are dedicated and team oriented.
In one game against Evergreen, a shoulder injury caused Winder to come out of a game — something Bob Satterwhite said never happens.
“In 10 years of coaching, Winder has never asked to come out of a game,” he said. “He didn’t want to hurt the team by not being able to throw to first.”
With his starting shortstop out of the game, Bob Satterwhite had to use his son Josh at shortstop.
The only thing is, Josh is lefthanded.
“I got laughed at,” Josh said.
But after making several plays, Josh opened the Evergreen coach’s eyes.
“Their coach said that he could play shortstop for him anytime,” Bob Satterwhite said.
It’s this team unity and sacrifice — especially from the younger guys — that have made the Bulldogs successful.
“I’ve never seen a team this complete,” Bob Satterwhite said. “When they win, I feel more pride than when I ever played the game. I wouldn’t trade anyone on our team for anyone I’ve seen.”
With the young guys’ personalities, Bob Satterwhite said, they instantly fit with the older group.
“We have huge team chemistry,” Josh Satterwhite said. “Watching our players do good, inspires (the younger guys) to do better. Some of the teams we play forget to have fun, and that’s what baseball is all about.”
With Winder, Flores and Williams being fairly slight in stature, Bob Satterwhite said other teams often think the three can’t play.
“The coolest feeling is when the other coach calls the outfield in, and they rope one to the fence,” he said.
Winder said he takes it personally.
“They don’t think I can hit the ball very far,” he said. “I want them to feel dumb when they come in on me.”
It’s that fire and determination that makes Winder the player he is, Bob Satterwhite said.
“(Winder) may be the most underrated player in the state,” he said. “People don’t realize how valuable he is to a very good ball club.”
All four to-be-sophomores said playing with this team, this summer, has been a great learning tool for the future.
“This is the best team to be on,” Winder said. “There is no other team I would want to be on.”
With three-time defending Legion state champion Eaton up next, it would be expected that the younger players would be nervous. But not with these young players, and not with this team.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t think we were going to win it,” Bob Satterwhite said.
“Three times in a row,” Josh Satterwhite added, “they’ve never played Moffat County in those three times.”
Luke Graham can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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