Early in the season, Glenn head baseball coach Zac Darling was pushing puzzle pieces around looking for the right combination.
The picture is starting to come into view.
The district season is just getting started on the Grizzlies third full season. They won a single game (via tiebreaker) in their first season and made the playoffs a year ago and have their eyes focused on repeating that this season.
“We talk about the phases of the season and we want to play the best ball in district and get better from there,” Darling said. “That would give us momentum. We’ve had some guys step up for us. I’m excited to keep getting better.”
This is a senior-laden team with more than eight players in their final year at Glenn, and it’s a group that has been forced to step up and lead over the last three seasons.
“it’s a different dynamic because they’ve been seniors for three years,” Darling said. “We’ve got a great group because they’ve made it through me being on them all the time for three years. It’s a great group of kids and I’m proud of them.”
Senior Chad Miller is just trying to take everything in.
Miller transferred to Glenn from Manor, so he hasn’t been with the group of seniors from the beginning. But that doesn’t stop him from having a positive attitude while enjoying being around his teammates and fighting for the postseason.
“At most old schools, there’s an established way things are done,” Miller said. “Here, the coaches are doing the program on a day-by-day basis. In a way, knowing you know you’re a part of building what this is and we’re all grateful.”
The season started out slowly with Glenn winning just three of its non-district games. But things started to come around during Spring Break when the Grizzlies beat Pflugerville 6-4 behind the defense.
To Miller, that win was a prime example as to how he knows the Grizzlies can play for the rest of the season.
“Our record doesn’t do us justice,” Miller said. “We’re a strong team in every sense of the word. I feel like we’re strong defensively and we’re all very encouraging in the dugout. I feel like we’re about to take off right now.”
Gabe Bolden started the game for Glenn and Tucker Mavis came on in the late innings to close things out.
The Grizzlies thread two double plays, including one to clinch the win against the Panthers. Third baseman Jame Horton made a diving stop in the top of the fifth inning to keep their lead at two runs and Zack Hefner drove in a run in the bottom half of the frame.
“Defense is the staple of the program, and we put a tremendous amount of time into it and take pride in it,” Darling said. “We don’t have anyone that’s overpowering so we rely on great defense. I’m proud they were able to make some big plays (against Pflugerville).”
The Grizzlies continue district play with a road trip to face off against Rouse on Friday. They play at Marble Falls on Tuesday and host the Mustangs on Friday night.
The bats came into play against Pflugerville as well, as Glenn racked up 12 hits in the win, a positive sign for Darling.
“The biggest thing for us is swinging the bats,” Darling said. “We need to continue to develop our offensive approach and keep buying into that. We justness to go compete and play within ourselves. I think the sky’s the limit for us.”