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Boys' baseball review and performance
by Norv and Mary Coblentz · July 10, 2013


The West Liberty varsity baseball team has talent but lacks depth, which has resulted in a slow start this year, according to West Liberty Head Coach Troy Wulf.

"(We) should be more athletic and versatile than previous seasons," Wulf said. "(It's) a solid core of players, but we lack depth. (We) should have a solid pitching staff as well."

"Another concern would be the amount of time we've had to practice as a team. We had a significant portion of our roster in track, soccer, or golf, so getting a full team practice has been tough," he added.

The Comets' track and field team had several athletes qualify for the state track meet earlier last month, and the Comets' soccer team headed to state.

Last season the Comets finished with an 11-20 record, but that record did not fully reflect their competitive ability. The only team in the Cedar Valley Conference to sweep the Comets last season was Regina, and three of their wins were over teams that went to the state tournament.

Unfortunately, the team lost five to graduation: Chase Hamilton, Gage Shellady, Blake Campbell, Avery Meyers and Clay Heick. But this year's team has some speed, including members of state-qualifying track events.

"The kids have done a very good job of working and seem to enjoy being on the field," Wulf said. "We also have some players that can really run, team speed. I'm really anxious to see how they perform as a group."

The Comets' goal this season is simple. "Compete every night and give ourselves a chance to win consistently," Wulf said.

From June 17 to 27 the Comets' baseball team won three of eight, including two conference wins.

To begin the Comets bested the Tigers at home 10 to 4 on June 17. Tyler Newsom did it all with a win on the mound, batting 3-3 with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs. Manny Lopez was 2-4 with a triple and an RBI. Brett Becker was 2-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Later in the week the Comets split a double header with the Tigers at Tipton on June 20. West Liberty managed just one run in the first game, but then won the second game in an extra inning 6 to 3.

In the first game, Manny Lopez got the RBI, and Daniel Jacques scored the run. Tyler Newsom, Chuy Garcia, and Cooper Koenig got hits for the Comets. Brett Becker took the loss for the Comets.

In the second game, Tyler Newsom hit a triple and had two RBIs. Brett Becker was 2-4 with a run and two RBIs. Daniel Jacques had a run and three walks. Cooper Koenig was 2-3 with a run and two walks. Troy Heick scored two runs and walked three times.

The Comets and Van Buren had a slugfest at the Wapello tourney June 22 with West Liberty coming out on top 14 to 12. The Comets got 16 hits in the win.

Cooper Koenig was 2-4 at the plate with two runs and four RBIs. Brett Becker was 2-4 with four runs, a double, and two RBIs. Tyler Newsom was 2-3 with a double, one run, and two RBIs. Chuy Garcia was 1-3 with two runs and an RBI. Manny Lopez was 3-4 with two RBIs. Troy Heick was 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Daniel Jacques had two hits and scored two runs. Sergio Zamora got a hit, an RBI, and scored a run. Tanner Mueller had a hit and a run.

However, the Comets lost to Wapello at the tourney 6 to 9. Brett Becker was 2-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Tyler Newsom hit a triple and scored a run. Manny Lopez was 2-4 with a double, a run, and an RBI. Troy Heick was 2-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs.

Next the Comets lost a close one on June 26 in eight innings during a road game against Lone Tree. They clocked in five runs, but their opponents were able to score on more.

Finally the Comets lost both games in a double header against Durant on June 27. They were beaten 4 to 8 in the first game and zero to 10 in the second game.

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