The Bonita freshman baseball team is loaded with so much talent that it has two Noahs (Noah Smith and Noah Williams).
Even when Noah was charged with saving the planet during the Great Flood in biblical times, God allowed only one Noah.
So, this team is stacked, even though nobody’s going to come out and say it before the Bonita freshmen have played one league game.
Of the 16 players that made the roster, at least seven of them can pitch. The pitching roster includes Nick Johnson, AJ Woodall, Jordan Dreschler, Anthony Cascarano, Noah Smith, Chris Spencer and Nick Peifer.
“So far, it’s too early to tell, but they have a lot of tools and athletic ability,” said Manager Tim Alley. “I’m really encouraged. I look for a lot of great things, but it’s up to them.”
Although nothing is locked in stone at this early date, the defensive stance of the team is also taking shape. Behind the dish, the team features catchers Brandon Bradshaw and Aaron Desmond. The keystone combo includes shortstop Noah Williams and second sackers Hunter Korn and Kurtis Redman. At first, Cascarano, Drescher and Spencer will be handling duties when they’re not on the hill.
More infield help will come from Johnson, Smith and Conner Owens.
With Monty Montenegro in center, Bonita will sport another fleet-footed outfield. Montenegro will be flanked by Peifer, Woodall, Ryan Schneider or Isaiah Garcia depending on the game situation.
“Montenegro is in line with players like Tanner Diebold and [Danny] Gelalich,” Alley said.
Finding diamond time for all his players might be the biggest challenge Alley faces early in the season.
“We cut some pretty good baseball players,” Alley admitted. “This group could be one of the best we’ve had, based on the tools they’re coming in with. But they haven’t done anything yet.”
In two early games, Bonita won 27-6 and 10-4 against Baldwin Park and Los Osos, respectively. A better test will come this Saturday, when the Bearcats host San Dimas at 10 a.m.
Bonita has two players attempting to complete the freshman Triple Crown of playing on the football, basketball and baseball teams. They are Cascarano and Garcia.
In Woodall, Bradshaw, Owens, Desmond, Redmon, Peifer, and the aforementioned Garcia and Cascarano, the team also boasts eight freshman football players.
So, the team is extremely athletic and coachable. Players will learn how to contribute whether they’re playing on the field or helping out in the dugout.
There’s no telling who will be the future stars of Bonita baseball. Some players who don’t see as much time as their teammates may blossom late.
“We’ll keep some players around because we see their potential,” Alley admitted. “We’re playing to win, but we’re also playing to develop these kids.
Alley is just happy his players have a head start on the fundamentals.
“Most of them have a lot of baseball knowledge and baseball skill,” Alley said. “But when it comes down to it, they have to learn how to win.
“That means learning to focus in every inning … to focus on every pitch.”
The baseball boat is about to leave dock, with Alley and the Noahs at the helm. Where they finally land will make for an interesting story.