Squires looking to boost Coyotes at first base, pitching

REED CITY — It’s spring break week for the Reed City Coyote baseball team but players like James “Jimbo” Squires are anxious to get back to the diamond next week when perhaps the weather will make conditions more playable.

This will be Squires’ second varsity season. He has played first base and done some pitching.

Squires is looking at 2014 with optimistic hopes.

“(2013) was kind of a mediocre year,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be better this year.”

During the offseason, to focus on 2014, Squires said he did some throwing in the gym and went to some camps.

At first base, “I’m pretty good at scooping up the ball,” said Squires, who has been at the spot for years.

In Little League, he also was a pitcher.

“I’ve been throwing on the mound in the gym lately,” he said.

Squires relies a lot on his fastball and has been working at improving his speed. He will be willing to be a starter or reliever and said his control will be “better than last year.”

New coach Marty Shaffer “has been giving us a couple of pointers” on pitching, Squires said.

In the first four weeks of practice, the weather limited the Coyotes chances for getting outdoors. But Squires said he and his teammates have been able to get some work done.

“We’ve got a wooden mound inside we’ve been throwing off from,” Squires said.

From working in the cage, Squires is looking to have a better hitting season this spring.

“It’s just keeping my eye on the ball,” he said.

The Coyotes are on spring break and have scheduled their opener for April 17 at Pine

River.

“We’ll hopefully do better than .500,” he said. “We’ve got average speed, good defense and we shouldn’t be bad on hitting.”