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Offseason success, ‘best group’ have Mustangs aiming high next spring

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:00 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Matthew Piechalak – mpiechalak@shawmedia.com)
Morton's Will Romero slides safely into home plate during a summer league game against Riverside Brookfield on July 10 in Berywn.

BERWYN – Summer baseball is less about winning and more about developing players for the following spring season.

Winning is still good, too.

The returning varsity trio of Sergio Villalobos, Anthony Iniquez and Luis Rivera has driven Morton to win seven of its first nine games in summer ball to give a nice confidence boost to the players.

“We got good pitching, we’re hitting the ball,” said Morton coach Mike Casey. “We’re a lot more athletic than last year. We’ve got a bunch of kids that can run. We’ve got kids that can hit. This will be our best group.”

Most of the players are also competing in travel baseball of some sort to divide their time in the summer. Villalobos is playing for the Wheatland Ducks travel team, Iniquez has pitched for various other teams to get more work in and Rivera plays for Team DeMarini, a high-end travel team that has played all over the midwest this summer.

Despite the busy baseball schedule, it’s easier to go through travel and numerous games per week when there’s no school day. Iniquez said his sole focus of the summer is playing baseball.

“I’m not as tired,” the senior to-be said. “I don’t have to go through a whole day of school. It’s a lot easier to come out and play.”

Casey noted that they’ve had around 30 kids at most of the games with freshmen and sophomores seeing time with the group.

“It’s all about developing,” Casey said. “Our lower levels, especially, getting kids ready for varsity baseball.”

With positive results, plenty of participation and optimism around the program, the Mustangs are hoping the summer momentum will mean something when the spring varsity season rolls around.

“It’s important seeing how our team for next year is going to look like,” Villalobos said.

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