Brady Mitchell hoping to turn Peoria High baseball program around

Brady Mitchell hoping to turn Peoria High baseball program around

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Brady Mitchell hoping to turn Peoria High baseball program around

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In his third year as the coach of the Peoria baseball team, Brady Mitchell has started to turn the program into a winning one.

Or at least a better one.

“We had four wins last year,” Mitchell said. “This year we are going for 10. I look at the last six or seven games of the season and we can easily win four to five of them.”

While the team, currently sitting at a 7-12 record, may not be shooting for the state tournament, it is setting achievable goals to boost the confidence of those coming up in the program, Mitchell said.

Keep in mind the team had an overall record of 6-22 in 2009, the season before Mitchell took over. It was reported players abandoned the team due to poor field conditions, among other things. The school received an $800,000 grant that year to revamp the fields.

The Peoria community is full of heavy-hitters as far as baseball is concerned. Home to Liberty and Sunrise Mountain, it does not give developing programs like Peoria much room to breathe.

But the young team is looking to build experience into contention for a state title one day.

“As for future kids, we are definitely trying to build a program,” Mitchell said. “Hopefully they can come here next year and expect to keep working toward that state playoffs goal.”

It helps that the team expects to return the whole infield. With an overall expectation of six returners, five of them will be third year varsity players.

This includes junior Xavier Carrasco, who plays second base, shortstop and catcher for the team. Carrasco has scored a team high eight runs so far this season according to MaxPreps.

Missing from the team next year will be senior leader Kyle Politte. Politte has seven runs and six RBIs to help the team.

“I think with the talent we’ve had they’ve done an excellent job for the program and they have helped build it,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he is talking to coaches from the minor leagues to come in in the future and help him turn the team around.

But, when the 2013 season comes to a close, Mitchell said he will stress a productive offseason for his players. This includes playing year-round with summer league and fall ball, something he started stressing last year. Most competitive teams in the state have players who consistently compete in these leagues.

“I want to keep improving and keep competing,” Mitchell said. “We’ll get there.”

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