Fall ball is in full swing for baseball and softball players in the mountain area. The Minarets Mustangs are playing a full schedule as new coach Jesse Darrah has his Mustangs working on fundamentals as he works on putting the pieces together in his first year as head coach for Minarets.
Darrah, an All-American baseball player out of college, (CSU Sacramento, University of Pacific) played pro ball for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the organization’s farm system but decided to hang up the cleats and return to his Valley roots.
After coaching at Fowler last year as the Redcats pitching coach, Darrah was chosen to take the reins of the successful Mustangs program which has won a CIF Section D-V title and played for another in the school’s five year history.
The Mustangs have played Kerman, Fresno High, Sierra, and Bullard this fall as Darrah is attempting to put together his coaching staff for the upcoming season. The Mustangs are expected to do well, with a team flush with seniors.
The Mustangs play on arguably one of the nicest fields in the Valley, and the school is hosting baseball tournaments on a regular basis. Darrah has invited Yosemite Gateway Babe Ruth to use both fields throughout the summer and is reaching out to area Little Leagues to also enjoy the facilities.
The Mustang’s diamond has six pitching mounds and two batting cages.
The Mustangs will host the “Battle of the Mountain” tournament in late February featuring Parlier, Fresno Christian, Liberty-Madera Ranchos, and Sierra, with possibly other teams being added.
On the softball diamond, Minarets and YHS have joined forces to form the Blaze. The team is playing tournaments throughout the fall schedule. The Blaze are coming off their first tournament championship in which the team, made up of mostly 16-and-under players, won the Modesto Invitational Oct. 17, beating two teams featuring 18-and-under players. The team is coached by Tami Franke (YHS) and Pete Reardon (Minarets).
The team is made up of mostly YHS players, with four players from Minarets. YHS has some very talented young players, including pitchers, that are sure to play at the varsity level. The Mustangs also have varsity players on other travel teams.