Baseball seeks victory


one, two, three strikes: Junior Devin Bernskoetter pitches during the team’s season opener against Grain Valley March 18. The Bruins ended up losing the game 4-7.

Cam Fuller

The RBHS baseball team continues to be a serious predator in the ecosystem of MSHSAA as they enter the postseason with a 18-8 record. Though the team is no longer driven by any future division one players, head coach Justin Towe has still gathered a senior laden squad that has plans to go deep into the postseason.
Senior J.P. Schneider has seen the Bruin baseball program go through many ups and downs this season; however, as a result, he knows his opponents better than ever. He says the drive for the team at this point in the season is to go all out in districts in hopes of taking out some of their toughest competition early on in postseason play.
“As a team, we feel that if we can get out of districts there isn’t a team that can beat us,” Schneider said. “And this is really because of the talent that we would have to go through to make it out of districts.”
The seniors aren’t the only contributors to the team this year, however, and much of this can be attributed to the coaching staff’s ability to recognize talent whenever possible and change their system on the fly. Senior Ji-Ho Lee says that the team isn’t afraid to change up their path to success as sometimes a new scoring plan is the only way to win, especially with a young team like this year.
“I think our mindset offensively has changed. We lost several talented seniors, so we aren’t a team that going to overpower and outscore our opponents, especially our district opponents,” Lee said. “Our approach has changed into one that is more centered on putting the ball in play and executing the little things like bunts and steals the right way. Bruin baseball is all about pitching and defense. That hasn’t changed, and we are still focused on the mound and making plays on defense.”
Getting out of districts will be a rather difficult task as usual, as rivals Hickman High School (HHS) and Jefferson City High School (JCHS) are still ranked in MSHSAA’s top five programs. To make a deep run into May, the group realizes that the first step to success is a common goal and a drive to continuously better one another.
“We beat HHS three times last year but they were all good games. We lost to JCHS in the district championship last year so they’re the team we really want to beat,” Schneider said. “I don’t feel that this team was as good as last year but we keep fighting and picking away so we can get the runs we need to win the game. We are a good team that can make a run at another district title.”
Additional reporting by Evan Eimers