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Spring, baseball lure athletes

With early warm weather and higher than average precipitation levels, the allergy season caught many people by surprise. The smell of fresh cut grass permeates the air as a few cross-country runners race by on the sidewalk.

A boy steps onto the baseball diamond’s home plate and digs a hole with his cleat for traction. He twists his hands on his bat, forcing a better grip as he waits for the ball to come hurtling towards him.

Baseball, known as America?s favorite pastime, attracts scores of eager athletes each spring and this year is no different.

After a few weeks of practice, the varsity baseball team officially started their season with the Chowchilla Preseason Invitational. The tournament takes place in multiple locations from March 1-12.

?Pre-season tournaments are always a hard way to judge how the season will be,? pitcher Carson Belmont, ?05, said. ?We?re still trying to get into the mode of things and get through the conditioning, so the team has not really started gelling yet.?

While the team was 0-4 in the tournament as of March 7, they remain optimistic.

?We played all Division III teams,? Belmont said. ?We may lose these games, but the whole point of preseason tournaments is to give us a chance to improve and find ourselves as a team.?

While their current record may not be as stellar as those of past years, head coach Jon Hall remains optimistic.

?We have a lot of young players,? Hall said. ?We have two sophomores and a lot of juniors. We have the talent. Once we find our rhythm as a team, I am confident that the rest of the pieces will fall into place.?

The team has had some early problems banding together but remains sure things will improve.

Look to support the Eagles in the coming weeks as they vie for West Sierra League title and a shot at the Valley Championship.

The team will close the Chowchilla tournament with home games versus Dos Palos (March 10), Mariposa (March 12) and Chowchilla (March 12).

For baseball schedules, maps or other information, visit www.fresnochristian.com and click on high school sports under the sports heading.

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