Warriors’ baseball team on the rise, will rely on Barber, Hatch, Streeter
AMITY – For the Amity Warriors’ baseball team, it’s all about the process. The rebuilding process, that is. The Warriors’ competitiveness in other spring activities such as track and field and golf tends to hamper the numbers on their diamond. For second-year head coach Brian Imlah, drawing in new kids for the sport is considered a win.
“We might take our lumps again this year, but we have a good pipeline of JV guys coming up through the program,” noted Imlah. “I want to see progress from our younger guys in every game. We will have to play some freshmen this year, and they will need to step up for us to be successful.”
Last season, because of poor weather, an undermanned Warrior group played 14 games winning only three games, including a lone achievement during their league schedule.
Of the few athletes who endured that gloomy campaign, Imlah returns three talented players. Dillon Barber, Clint Hatch and West Streeter boast leadership and skills for the blue-and-white. Barber will man shortstop and hold down the number-one spot in the pitching rotation. Hatch is the number-two starter who also plays first base on non-pitching days. Streeter exemplifies the super-utility role and adds pitching experience as well.
Imlah endorses a big-hitting philosophy, although his roster makeup may require a more flexible approach to the game.
“I like the long ball type stuff, doubles, hitting the ball hard, driving guys in. Clint is a good hitter, and Dillon is great at getting on base. But this year I might have to shift to more small ball due to our personnel. We have good speed with West and Dillon, so I’d like to see us take some bases,” said Imlah.
An interesting addition to Amity this season is senior Tyler Berrier. He hasn’t played organized baseball since eighth grade, but Imlah is counting on him to ascend.
“Tyler will play catcher for us. He brings lots of senior leadership and positivity to the game. Tyler is going to have to hit for us as well; he needs to be one of our best,” said Imlah.
Weather permitting, Amity’s unproven players like Berrier and the varsity underclassmen will earn experience against a league Imlah calls “the best in the state.” Players will have every opportunity to learn and grow facing perennial powers Santiam Christian, Horizon Christian and Taft when conference play begins next month.