Coyote Baseball Team Poised for Conference Title

James 6By James Hernandez

After a four-game sweep over the Colorado Northwestern Community College Spartans, the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes has evened its conference record at 8-8. With 16 games left, the Coyotes appear poised to make a run at the postseason.

Freshman pitcher David Kuzma is confident that his team has the talent and drive to get back in the race despite the early season struggles.

“We have had a real rough start,” Kuzma said. “Talent-wise, we have the most of any team we play; we just haven’t put it all together yet.”

Kuzma pitched a gem in game three of the four-game series March 29 as he dominated Spartans’ hitters, allowing only one hit on his way to a complete game shutout. The four consecutive wins got the Coyotes to 21-14 overall and 8-8 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

Freshman infielder Kevin Schul was quick to echo Kuzma’s expectations of a championship season being a realistic goal for the team.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we can make it to postseason play,” Schul said. “It’s just about getting the puzzle pieces to fit together and from there everything will fall into place.”

The Coyotes will need to win 12 of the final 16 games to have a realistic chance at passing both Western Nevada College and Salt Lake Community College to overtake first place. Luckily for the Coyotes, half of its remaining games are against those two schools.

Head Baseball Coach Nick Garritano was asked if he could pinpoint the source of the team’s early season inconsistencies and he spoke about a few key factors.

“The tough part about this year compared to last year is we were sophomore dominated,” Garritano said. “We lost a lot of guys and now we’ve got freshmen in their places. It has taken some time for those kids to adjust to the grind and rigors of playing four games in 24 hours.”

With the upcoming bye week Coach Garritano hopes his team will get a chance to heal some lingering injuries as it prepares for a make-or-break series against first place Salt Lake.

“We have every opportunity to climb right up the ladder and still compete for the SWAC championship,” Garritano said. “It’s gonna be an uphill climb and we all know that, but it’s sports and it’s baseball where anything can happen. We just have to continue to move forward.”

For more information on CSN baseball visit www.csncoyotes.com.

James 5

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