GC baseball team<br>hoping for good things
GC VILLAGE — After back-to-back seasons taking third place in the Class 1A North, the Grand Canyon High School baseball team would like nothing more than to move up and qualify for the state playoffs. That’s something a Phantom baseball team has never accomplished.
Andrew Aldaz, far right, goes over base-sliding techniques with the considerably large number of baseball and softball players.
"I think we could have a good season with the kids we have," Phantoms coach Andrew Aldaz said. "We could play for second if we’re able to produce."
Grand Canyon lost a couple of key players off last year’s team including hurler John Hender and slugger Jose Diaz-Gonzalez. This year’s version of the Phantoms adds some names not seen on the diamond in a few years, such as senior Mitchell Walker, along with several underclassmen.
"I have out a lot of the same kids who played for me as freshmen," Aldaz said. "I’m hoping to pick up a few more freshmen."
In all, the baseball roster includes 14 players with only two seniors — Walker and Michael Vincent. Both of those players figure to play important roles on the team. Both seniors will pitch and play shortstop. Joe Wilkerson, junior, will also see time on the mound.
Around the infield, Aldaz and his staff will be evaluating talent. Sophomore Shane Cox appears solid at either first or third and Andrew Keske has played some second base. At catcher, Wilkerson will see time and freshman Miles Hunter could be a factor.
In the outfield, junior John Gabaldon brings back some experience.
"This first tournament will tell us where we can play some people," the coach added, referring to this week’s Desert Classic at various sites in Phoenix.
Juniors Alfred Alarcon, Shaun Cochran, Thomas Robinson, sophomores Trevor Acor and Chris Mickelson and freshmen Ed Hazlett and Danny Vincent are other players competing for playing time.
Hunter and Alarcon may see limited time with track being their main spring sport.
The Phantoms open the season Friday at the Desert Classic. Friday games will be played at Bourgade Catholic with Saturday games at Valley Christian.
Seniors — Michael Vincent, Mitchell Walker.
Juniors — Alfred Alarcon, Shaun Cochran, John Gabaldon, Thomas Robinson, Joe Wilkerson.
Sophomores — Trevor Acor, Shane Cox, Andrew Keske, Chris Mickelson.
Freshmen — Ed Hazlett, Miles Hunter, Danny Vincent.
Head coach — Andrew Aldaz.
Assistant coach — Dan Lopez.
Student manager — Matt Hender.