SUNNYSIDE — The Grizzly boys of spring, warmed up with gloves and bats in hand, and played host in their season opening baseball game against the Prosser Mustangs last Thursday afternoon.

“We’re very positive about the kids we have that want to play baseball,” Head Coach Pete Marquez explained. “This year we have 32 kids. We have 26 that want to play baseball.”

Sunnyside senior pitcher and lead-off hitter Dylan Clampitt earned the opening day start. The right hander struck out 7, gave up 3 hits, issued 3 walks and a balk, and trailed 3-1 after going 5 complete innings.

Last year, he hit .415 and was 0-3, a fact he was disappointed with.

“It’s a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that you have to come up through the program just to get the opportunity to be named the opening day starter,” stated Clampitt.

“Clampitt did a great job. He’s really good at mixing up his pitches and his locations,” Prosser Head Coach Steve Schorzman said. “He’s going to be a force to deal with in his league.”

Sunnyside scored the first run of the game as they manufactured an early run on a throwing error, matched with aggressive base running in their half of the first inning before falling to the Mustangs 7-1.

“We gave up a run… we gave up a run, and we didn’t give up runs in bunches.

“In years past, we have given up runs in bunches where all of a sudden, the ship’s going down, and everybody is jumping off,” Marquez positively voiced.

The Grizzly bats were held in check by the Mustangs’ senior right hander Benito Bravo, who surrendered the one unearned run.

“Benito was great. And, so was James Ashton. Both of those two really did an excellent job and slamming the door at the end,” Schorzman enthusiastically acknowledged.

Coach Marquez plainly confirmed that his team needs to work on their hitting and over the next couple of days, will be practicing their batting.

“We have to become better hitters. They’re young and don’t swing the bat very well… we’ll get better,” he said.

“Sunnyside’s got a really good group here, as well. And, so we had to make sure we played clean, in which we did. Pitches were a little bit rough early. But they seemed to get it together later and that’s all that mattered,” Schorzman said.

Underneath Clampitt’s ball cap he has a saying from his late grandfather because he was the one that said, “Remember, always have fun!”

“You see the guys come up before you and do it. And, you want to live up to the expectation of being just as good, if not better. Once you get to this level, you realize that I’m in the Big 9, and it’s not as easy as they made it look,” Clampitt expressed.

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