What to expect from Madison-Plains baseball

Catcher Steven Ward in-game catching pitch.


Catcher Steven Ward in-game catching pitch.

Steven Ward

Madison-Plains baseball has been on a downward angle since the days of Denny Morris, former Madison-Plains baseball coach. Denny Morris was the varsity coach for the Golden Eagles for 21 years. Out of the 21, his teams had a winning record for 20 years. He also had seven straight district titles under his belt. But, since his reign as coach, it just seems like the baseball team cannot get back to where they were. 


There are big expectations for this 2020 baseball team…but why? The team consists of only two returning seniors and team captains, Jarrett Vallery and Steven Ward. 


Senior Jarrett Vallery is coming back from three previous seasons playing for the Golden Eagles that were outstanding. Some of Vallery’s highlighted games from last year are: Vallery strikes out 15 in one game against Cedarville, which ties the school record. Vallery batted .375 his freshmen year, .439 his sophomore year, and his junior year batted .271. As you can see, Vallery is a key part of this ball club. 


Senior Steven Ward, the Golden Eagles catcher, only committed one error the entire year, which is very impressive. This ranks Ward no. 34 in the league with a fielding percentage of .977. 


Logan Stephenson said in an interview, “Our biggest weakness for baseball is the goofing off and the screwing around. It needs to stop.” Stephenson has a point. Last year, the Golden Eagles had a very talented team, but could not win games because no one took the game seriously. 


Junior Adyn Gammell is another key part of this ball club. Gammell was a big part of the lineup last year; Gammell was the Golden Eagles leadoff hitter and did an excellent job at it. Gammell had a batting average of .322. Gammell ranked no. 20 in the league last year in batting average. Gammell always found a way to get on base for the Golden Eagles, so he is definitely expected to have a big year. 


Junior Corey Cress is another key part of the Golden Eagles’ success. Cress struggled to find his swing in the first part of the season, but when he found his swing, he tore it up at the plate. Cress knocked in eight RBI’s to end the year. 


Ryan Ernst said in the interview, “I expect astronomical things from the 2020 Golden Eagles.” Ernst was talking about the talent and expectations of this team. 


The Golden Eagles have a new coaching staff and a whole new look. The Golden Eagles added a hitting coach, pitching coach and a catcher’s coach to the staff. This will allow for more focus on the ball team and for there to be more individual focus to address any weaknesses of players on the team.