Strong pitching staff important for young Bulldogs in 2022

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022

NEDERLAND — The Nederland baseball team will lean on a stout pitching staff as the program rebuilds after losing nine seniors from last year’s team to graduation.

Head Coach Bryan Spell said his team just wants to get better each game this year.

“We feel like there are good arms on our pitching staff,” Spell said. “Our pitching staff is pretty deep. We have a couple of guys ramping up that haven’t been as healthy as they want to be. We are kind of babying them along.”

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Brady Corcoran, Noah Kendrick, Gage Driskell and Kyler Baker highlight the pitching staff.

Corcoran, who is now a sophomore, played a large role for the team as a freshman in 2021.

“I think it raises his expectations,” Spell said of Corcoran’s production last year. “At times, it is a challenge to deal with those expectations. There were times last year he came in as a freshman and didn’t really know what to expect. Performing the way he did last year, he has expectations for himself and he will know how to deal with them. He’s a mature kid, understands the game and works extremely hard.”

Nederland Coach Bryan Spell talks to his team before a game. (Chris Moore/The News)

Corcoran said he starting last season hasn’t quite calmed his nerves.

“It helps having experience,” he said. “I think I am pretty nervous person so they are still there. Nerves help me perform better in my own way. I just want to compete as well as I can. I just want to be the best I can be. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”

The coach said the players will use the preseason games to find their identity.

They are just trying to find where the pieces fit.

“We have some new faces mixed in with the old faces,” Spell said. “It will be a process. I told them we don’t have to be at our best right now, but when Tuesday of district rolls around during spring break, we have to have a good idea of who we are and play to those strengths.”

Driskell, who also plays shortstop, wants his team to make a big playoff run.

“I just want to be the best leader possible,” he said.

Driskell’s goal is to make All-State and bat above .350 and have an ERA under 1.

Outfielder Britton Gomez returns as one of the few seniors on the young team.

“I am excited to get it started,” he said. “I am hoping we can do well, win a district championship, carry it on to the playoffs and make a run a little further than we did last year.”