The Farmersville baseball team got a taste of the playoffs last season and hopes to build towards even more in 2022.
Finishing 2021, the Fightin’ Farmers went 8-4 in district play and reached the bi-district round of the playoffs. After a tough stretch in the middle of the season, Farmersville ended the regular season winning six of their last seven games.
“We got off to a slow start last year in the district,” head coach Jon Nordin said. “With how we responded down the stretch and six players returning, we’re pretty excited for this season and what we can do.”
The Farmers return six of their nine starters from last season, including top pitcher Cooper Strawn. He is the returning ace for the team and will hope to lead an inexperienced rotation for the Farmers.
“Pitching is going to be key for us,” Nordin said. “We have five guys who we think are capable but only one real player with high school experience. Once we figure out our best guys, we’ll make an impact.”
Along with Strawn, senior Jason Gomez and sophomores Collin Berry and Caden Norman will see some innings on the mound this year. Gomez was one of the top hitters for the Farmers in 2021, but an arm injury prevented him from getting chances on the mound.
With the returning talent in place and the confidence in the secondary pitchers, coach Nordin believes his team can compete with the best.
“We’ve got a chance to have a really good team,” Nordin said. “We should be good enough to win the district and we’ll compete with four or five other teams. We haven’t won playoff games in a while and we want to get back into that position again this season.”
With several guys competing for the innings and proving they have what it takes to play at this level, coach Nordin said the key would be giving them chances in non-district games to prove themselves.
“We just hope we get them on the mound and get to see them pitch,” Nordin said. “We’ve got a few new faces at this level and we want to see them and figure out how the puzzle puts itself together.”
The confidence for Farmersville comes at the plate, where Strawn, Gomez and several other players make up a strong roster that should score plenty of runs.
They’ll be joined by three rising sophomores who played on varsity last season. Berry, Norman and catcher Brady Gray headline that group and allow the Farmers to be a versatile lineup this season.
“There’s a lot of guys we feel good about defensively and in our lineup,” Nordin said. “We want the guys to be themselves and approach each at-bat how they see fit.”
Farmersville opens the season on Feb. 24 at the Royse City baseball tournament before gearing up for district play on March 15. Coach Nordin isn’t shying away from high expectations and is eager to see his program take to the field.
“It’s really going to come down to if we can pitch,” Nordin said. “We’re going to hit the ball and hit it hard. If we go out there and do our job on the mound, I have the confidence we can beat anyone on our schedule.”
To read the full story, see next week’s issue of The Farmersville Times. Support your community newspaper for less than $40 a year.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]