After three games, the Minarets Mustang baseball team (2-1) is ranked in the top 10 in the state in nine of the 12 categories tracked by Maxpreps.com.
The rankings include: caught stealing % (.400 - 2nd); stolen bases (27 - 2nd); team batting average (.438 - 3rd), on base percentage, (.495 - 4th); slugging percentage (584 - 4th); on base percentage, (.495 - 4th); runs scored (30 - 6th); RBIs (25 - 10th); ERA. (1.40 - 10th); and fielding (.886 - 23rd).
Senior Sam Romero leads the state with a .778 batting average and a .818 on base percentage, as well as 16th in slugging percentage. Junior Zack Clayton ranks 59th with a .417 batting average, and three other Mustangs, seniors Keenan Reardon, Conly Biglione, and Cedar Robertson should join the top 25 in the state following their next game, reaching the "at bats" requirement.
On the base paths, Robertson ranks 4th in the state, Romero, 9th, Jordan Christian, 44th and Clayton 46th. In fielding, catcher Reardon ranks 6th in put outs, (including from the mound).
After coming up short in their first sectional title game last year, this squad,made up primarily of seniors, is looking for its first Central Section D-V baseball title this year.
Players committed to working hard in the off season, and many played ball year round in preparation of the 2014 season.
Allen Williamson, a former San Francisco Giants organization trainer, worked with the Mustangs during the off season. Twice a week for two hours, Williamson worked on strength and conditioning with players.
Williamson, received his BS degree in kinesiology from Fresno State, where he designed and implemented strength and conditioning programs for seven teams at the school. After Fresno State, Williamson worked for the Giants in Scottsdale, Salem, and Fresno. Williamson is affiliated with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and volunteers for the San Joaquin Valley Spartans travel baseball organization, which seven of the Mustangs played last summer. Minarets coach Don Watkins approached Williamson with the idea of working with his players.
The team opened the season with wins against Sunnyside (18-2) and Lindsey (16-3) and a loss to Lamoore (9-7).
This week the Mustangs are playing in the Immanuel Tournament, and will face Lindsey, Woodlake, and Roosevelt. On March 11, the Mustangs host Farmersville in a preview of what many believe could be the two teams playing for the sectional title this year. Last year Minarets defeated the Aztecs 4-3. At 3:30 p.m., March 13, the Mustangs host Delano, and play a double-header at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., March 15, against Palm Springs High.