By Andrew Luberda
After three years away from the Bearcats baseball team, head coach Rene Pacheco returns to the field to lead this year’s club. Pacheco is also the school’s Athletic Director. Joining Coach Pacheco on the coaching staff is Dennis Warner. Warner is the former Mesa Desert Ridge hitting coach.
Warner was part of the staff that led Mesa Desert Ridge to back-to-back 5A-1 state championships in 2009 and 2010. Both Coach Pacheco and Coach Warner are former Ray HS graduates.
Last season the Bearcats finished the season with a 6-12 record. They return 11 players from last season’s team including senior Pitcher Alex Carrera. Last season Carrera was named second team All-Section and Arizona Republic Honorable Mention All-State.
Joining Carrera on the club are returning pitchers Destry Yocum and Seth Harmon. The pitching staff on this year’s team could prove to be a key to the season.
“We hope to have a little bit of depth in pitching this year,” said Coach Pacheco.
Other returning players include Daniel Harmon (SR), Jacob Wernett (SR), Altin Hing (SR), Dominic Bravo (JR), Jacob Pace (SO), and Robin Newman (So).
Some players on the baseball roster are participating for the Bearcats basketball team. Senior Kyle McDowell is also unavailable due to a severe ankle injury. His return is unknown. As a result, Coach Pacheco said it was necessary to bring some JV players up to the Varsity team until the basketball season ends.
Tony Santa Maria (SR), Douglas McPeak (SO), Matt Naranjo (SR), Adam Stonecipher (SR), Johnny Wernett (FR), Derek Pacheco (SO), Robby Sanchez (SR), Austin Huffman (FR), Jesse Molar (SR), Brandon Acevedo (SR), and Joe Rudy Lorona (JR) finish out the 2013 Bearcats roster.
The Bearcats players will have to meet the certain guidelines set by Coach Pacheco.
“We expect our players to do things right academically, athletically and socially,” he said.
The Bearcats season starts with back-to back home games on February 21, 2013 and Feb. 25, 2013. After three consecutive road games the Bearcats return home to play Hayden on Mar. 25, 2013. Game time is 4:00 p.m.