The Minarets baseball team hosted the Hawks of Liberty High Feb. 13, and opened its season with a 4-2 win.
Mustang senior pitcher Riley Hillerman held Liberty to just one hit in three innings of work.
The team will face Kingsburg Saturday.
Hillerman has a lot of experience on the mound,with junior Connor Reardon behind the plate, senior Brendon Bourdet at first, and freshman Riley Painter at second. His brother Tyler will play shortstop, and both Painter brothers will also pitch. Hayden Alford will play shortstop, and Hunter Thompson will be at third base and also pitch.Another freshman, left-handed Aaron Hall will also pitch for the varsity team.
The outfield is made up of seniors Andrew Carrick and Christian Low, and junior Drew Robertson.
With the conclusion of basketball and soccer seasons, Coach Jesse Darrah will add another five players to his varsity roster.
Somerville joins staff
Darrah has added long time Yosemite High assistant baseball coach John Somerville to his staff.
Somerville is a former scout for the Houston Astros organization, and was the head coach of the Greorgetown Hoyas baseball team. He was also an assistant coach for at Ohio State football team under head coach Woody Hays.
Somerville is fresh off a World Series victory for the mens senior league.
A 30-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Somerville is also very active at Yosemite Lakes Community Church leading trips to Isreal yearly.
Also new to Minarets is Nick Ponomarenko, a former Fresno Police Officer with 30 years on the force, Ponomarenko was also president of the Clovis Babe Ruth organization. Another former YHS coach, Tom Tuso, rounds out the new additions to the Mustangs coaching staff.
“I think we have put together a top notch varsity coaching staff ... we have a veteran team and I am anticipating a very successful season,” Darrah said. It sounds as if discipline and structure will be at an all time high for the Mustangs who reached the semifinals of sectional play last season. The Mustangs look formidable on paper.
Darrah was an All-American out of college and played professional ball in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
Darrah and his Mustangs will host the inaugural “Battle of the Mountain” tournament next month.
In addition to the Mustangs, teams in the tournament are Liberty, Sierra, Fresno Christian, Parlier, and Roosevelt.