Senior class powers Knights | Baseball

Pitching staff led by University of Portland-bound White
By David Pan | Mar 07, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Morgan White delivers a pitch during an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday, March 3, at Kamiak High School.

Kamiak’s senior class is taking charge.

What’s stood out after the first week of practices for second-year head baseball coach Kevin Agnew is the leadership shown by the seven seniors.

“It’s been fantastic,” Agnew said. “They’ve been doing a good job of leading by example. They’ve been doing a good job of putting their arms around the younger players when they get chewed out a little by the coaches or when they make a mistake.”

For most of the seniors, it’s a bit of a new role. Only two of the seniors – Morgan White and Luke Doten – were on varsity last year. The other seven seniors played on the junior varsity team as juniors because of 13 seniors who filled up most of last year’s varsity roster spots.

White recently signed to play for the University of Portland and Agnew is expecting a lot out the Division I recruit.

“He’s shown flashes of really phenomenal athleticism,” Agnew said. “His arm is great. I’m just hoping this year he can put that all together and just be a well-rounded infielder, pitcher and hitter. So far, he’s shown great leadership. We just hope he’ll be real productive and he’ll be real dominant on the mound. … I think he’s going to have a great year for us.”

Agnew describes White as a strong physical pitcher, who strikes a lot of batters out.

“The key for him is to keep the pitch count down so he can get deep into games,” the Kamiak coach said. “Last year, he had three or four games where he controlled the entire game.”

Doten played second, third and pitched and is projected by Agnew to start at either shortstop or second base.

“He’s going to have a big role this year,” Agnew said.

The only other returning varsity player is junior Bryce Coté, who is a pitcher and utility player.

“Our pitching looks really good this year,” Coté said. “It’s going to be exciting to work with them this year.”

To be effective, Coté said that he first needs to locate his fastball. That sets up his other pitches, he said.

White also likes the way the pitching staff is shaping up and said the defense also appears to be strong.

“The key is offense. We just need to keeping getting hits,” White said. “Defense is solid. Pitching is looking good. … We have a couple of power hitters but mostly we have speed. So we’re just working with that, getting the ball on the ground and getting on base.”

Coté added that the Knights needs to be aggressive at the plate.

“We need to attack more,” Coté said.

The turnover in the roster means that almost every position in the infield and outfield is up for grabs. Agnew will be looking closely at how the players perform in the first two weeks of non-conference games. Agnew’s goal is to have a set lineup by the final non-league contest.

“It’s wide open,” Agnew said. “In talking with these guys, we want an identity of toughness and competitiveness.”

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