Cohesive Husky baseball finishes season with sweep
Jun 02, 2017 11:29AM ● Published by Travis Barton
Senior Collin Everett throws a pitch against Kearns on May 8. Everett only allowed two runs on the day. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
Gallery: Cohesive Husky baseball finishes season with sweep [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
For more than 20 years, Gary Daniels has been teaching at Hillcrest that included an initial spell as head baseball coach from 1995 to 2007.
After a hiatus in which he helped some friends with coaching, he returned to the Husky dugout in 2014.
“I enjoy coaching the kids I teach. You see these kids every day so you kinda want to go to battle with your own kids. It’s been fun being back,” Daniels said shortly after the Huskies’ final game of 2017.
In his third year back, Daniels oversaw a senior- and sophomore-heavy team that couldn’t quite put it together for a playoff berth. But the season did end on a high note with a three-game sweep of Kearns that included a 14-2 shellacking.
“It’s been a crazy year for us, but we’re a pretty good team,” Daniels said.
The team has been competitive in its region losing various close games to miss out on the playoffs by two games, but did see them win against Olympus and Skyline.
“We beat some of the better teams by playing what we were capable of doing,” Daniels said.
The perfect examples being the 14-2 victory and a 10-8 victory, both over Kearns, that featured multiple clutch hits in the closing innings to rally from a 7-8 deficit.
“At times pitching’s good, sometimes hitting’s been good, we’ve just kinda been all over. And when it does (come together) we do a pretty good job,” Daniels said.
The 2017 Huskies were known for their unity, made possible partly by the team’s trip to Anaheim, Calif. for the second consecutive year where the team can play, attend baseball games, visit the beach and most importantly, connect.
“That’s where they get to know each other a little bit. They’re able to kinda bond young kids with old guys,” Daniels said. “It’s a tight knit group, they get along, they enjoy being together which is fun.”
While the team loses eight seniors, including some important contributors behind the plate and in the outfield, Daniels expects a strong pitching rotation next season.
“I think the program’s in good shape, we lose some seniors we can’t replace, but hopefully as a group we can fill in here and there and be better,” Daniels said.
Expect a junior-laden team in 2018 with at least three pitchers who spent lots of time on the varsity mound this season.
“I’ve got some experience coming back, they just need to take it up a notch and we’ll see if they can,” Daniels said.