SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PREVIEWS : DESERT-INYO LARGE
COACH: Co-Coaches Andy Gavel and Mike Fulmer, 3rd season
LAST SEASON: 15-8; tied for 1st in league, 9-1
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Nine players return from a team that advanced to the 1-A semifinals last season. Pitchers Justin Curry and Derek McMurtry likely will split time on the mound. However, McMurtry, 4-1 last season with a 1.16 earned-run average and a .454 batting average, is recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery and might not be available until league play. “We’re a pretty strong offensive club, but pitching depth is wide open, especially with McMurtry hurt,” Gavel said. The outfield is experienced with Ed Joyce and Shawn Preasmyer (.363) and newcomer Frank Stanley. Infielders Bill Sobalvarro and Jason Williams also return. Jeff Williams (.350), Jason’s twin, will move from right field to catcher. Sophomore pitcher-third baseman Brian Lathrop was a standout on a junior-varsity team that finished 19-3.
OUTLOOK: Paraclete and Tehachapi have either shared or won the Desert-Inyo Large League title for the past six seasons and this year appears no different. “I think it’s going to (be) between us again,” Gavel said.