By Dennis Erturk
It has been an off-season of change for the baseball program.
After a great second half-run last season, the Broncos lost pitchers Jeff Bain and Kyle Dohy to the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.
CPP finished 34-22 last season.
There are six freshmen players that earned a spot on this year’s squad, four of whom are redshirt-freshmen.
This type of off-season is nothing new for seventh-year head coach Randy Betten and his coaching staff.
Players in college baseball typically stay four years, sometimes less.
This year’s team, however, have acquired a new assistant coach in former Cal Poly Pomona baseball player Joe Villa.
Villa, an experienced former player who also coached in Fullerton, will also hold the title of co-recruiting coordinator alongside friend and former teammate, recruiting coordinator, Jenzen Torres.
As a former player for the program, Villa can be vital for the coaching staff, offering perspectives on how to help the team win, as he did so during his years at CPP.
Villa says the team is excited and eager to start playing, starting with a pre-season game this Friday.
Senior Bryce Graddy has been a solid infielder during his time at CPP since transferring from Delta College.
Graddy started 40 games last season with a .237 batting average.
“We have a lot of young guys, but we also have a lot of experience, and a lot of guys who’ve been here before” it’s just about getting wins to start and getting everybody comfortable,” said Graddy.
Graddy also said that with six games of competition before conference play begins, the team hopes to use those six games to improve and gain momentum heading into the season.
Like his teammates, Graddy does not care about personal goals and is not motivated by stats.
He simply cares about winning and how to help his team win a national championship.
Sophomore Matt Manskar is an infielder who as a freshman tallied 11 hits in 29 plate appearances.
Manskar says team chemistry on a squad that is loaded with young talent is essential.
“I think it’s definitely really important, we’ve definitely been emphasizing that a lot in the off-season,” said Manskar.
“I like the way that it’s coming together so I’m excited for the season.”
Anthony Carrillo / The Poly Post
Baseball practicing last Thursday in preparation for the first preseason game of the season this Friday
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