Reed City baseball squad brimming with confidence

Coach: 'We expect to be competitive in every game we suit up for'

Reed City baseball coach Eric Grannis (right) watches the action during a game last season.

Reed City baseball coach Eric Grannis (right) watches the action during a game last season.

File photo

REED CITY — A new season of high school baseball is fast approaching, and the Reed City Coyotes are ready to build off of a solid 2021 campaign.

It was a season that saw coach Eric Grannis’ team post a 19-12-1 record, which was good enough to finish near the middle of the CSAA Gold standings.

Reed City’s run ultimately came to an end via a 9-6 loss to Evart in the district final.

As far as the upcoming season is concerned, Grannis is optimistic that his players will be ready to compete in every game they suit up for.

“Our team has come a long way since the beginning of the (off)season, and we are pushing to get better every single day we throw on the cleats,” Grannis said.

Grannis added that the team will be focusing more on improving its mental approach to each game.

“We have made great strides on the physical side of the game,” Grannis said. “We are excited for the season we have in front of us, and we are ready to start playing games.”

As was the case one year ago, the Coyote coach said he thinks offense will be the biggest asset possessed by his team in 2022.

With plenty of power up-and-down the lineup, Grannis will have numerous weapons at his disposal.

“We believe that we are good with the bats this season; we have been working hard since the beginning of January on mechanics and mental approach,” Grannis said. 

Grannis was also quick to highlight the strides made by his pitching staff this offseason.

“The pitchers are really starting to figure it all out,” Grannis said. 

Payton Hansen was the lone graduate from last season’s team, meaning there will be plenty of familiar faces on the diamond for Reed City this spring and summer.

Grannis detailed just how important Hansen was to the Coyote baseball program during the previous four seasons, all of which he spent on the varsity squad.

“He was a staple for our program, both behind the plate as a catcher, and as a major bat, hitting cleanup with an average of .449,” Grannis said. “Payton left some big shoes to fill, and we have plenty of players that are willing to take that challenge on.”

Seniors Isaac Williams and Trent Howell, along with juniors Xavier Allen, Noah Morgan, and sophomores Max Hammond and Spencer Hammond are expected to be key components to the Reed City roster this season.

Allen, Morgan, Hammond and Hansen are all members of the pitching staff.

The competition around the CSAA Gold is expected to be tough once again this year for Reed City, but Grannis insisted his players will be ready for the challenge. 

“We feel that our conference has some pretty good teams,” Grannis said. “Teams like Fremont, Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills always seem to be toward the top. We are looking to really compete with those teams this season and be right up there with them.”

The Coyotes will open their season with a non-league home game against St. Mary Cathedral at 1 p.m. April 9.