Gilbert continued to enjoy high-level success on the baseball diamond in 2010.
The Indians were supposed to be in rebuilding mode this spring, but the result was another 20-win season (20-7), a second place finish in Region 3-2A and another good run in the playoffs. Ashley Burnett’s team advanced to the finals of the District 2 tournament, marking the seventh season in a row that the Tribe has been no worse than a Sweet 16 playoff team.
“We had a solid year, but we will be looking to pitch with more command and play better defense next season, and continue to produce quality at bats,” said Burnett.
The good news is that only three senior starters are departing - Dylan Skinner (.365, 32 runs, 12 RBIs), Hunter Wright (.299, 16 RBIs) and Matt Stegall (.293, 19 runs, 14 RBIs). Skinner was named to the all-region team.
The returning cast features 2010 all-region selections Connor Owings (.440 average, 1.066 OPS, 31 runs, 19 RBIs), Austin LaBounty (.405, 1.058 OPS, 29 runs, 22 RBIs), Taylor Burriss (.361, 31 runs, 27 RBIs) and Mike Morrison (.325, 14 runs, 14 RBIs). Nathan Price (.419, 19 runs, 22 RBIs), Josh Tronco (.326) and Jason Smith (.313, 22 runs, 18 RBIs) around out the underclass regulars.
The added bonus is Gilbert’s top five pitchers in 2010 are set to return. Morrison went 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 50 innings. Tronco was 4-2 with a 0.61 ERA and held opponents to a .183 batting average. Owings was 4-3 with a 2.76 ERA and 44 whiffs in 33 innings. LaBounty went 1-1 with one save and posted a sparkling 0.82 ERA. Luke Shumpert was 1-1 with a 2.52 ERA.
Gilbert boasted a 1.89 team ERA this season.