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Prep baseball: Northridge focuses on positive during rough stretch

Published March 27, 2013 7:16 pm

Prep baseball • Northridge's coach is a former University of Utah pitcher.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Baseball is not a sport that lends itself to impatience.

Young arms take time to groom. Defense takes time to tweak, and hitting eventually must move out of the batting cage and onto the field.

There is a reason why there is no 24-second shot clock on the scoreboard.

No one knows that more than Northridge baseball coach Shad McCord, who took over a program that was 0-15 last season.

The former University of Utah pitcher who had a promising baseball career cut short after a rotator cuff injury now is rehabbing a program that is hoping that if it can't win that at least it can be competitive.

"I think everyone's trying to adjust to a new coach and a new program," McCord said. "We've done pretty good, we're just pretty young in some key areas. We really haven't been too competitive for about a year and half, so we're just trying to stay positive."

Copper Hills beat Northridge 11-0 on Monday, dropping the Knights to 0-6 this season. Of those six losses, four have been by 10 runs or more.

McCord believes the Knights could have snapped their losing streak earlier in the season, but he chose to keep his pitchers on a pitch count and not risk an injury.

"I was hoping to get some wins early and build some confidence," McCord said. "We had a few close games that we could have won, but we made errors on routine plays that cost us the game."

Despite the lopsided losses, there have been enough bright spots to believe that getting that elusive win could come anytime.

Robby Vernon hit .400 in St. George, Troy Quarnberg and Gavin Campbell have secured the middle infield and Charlie Vernon has found a home in center field.

There are 14 pitchers on the staff, and the future looks bright with Kaden Taylor and Branden Petersen emerging on the mound.

"Our staff is trying to teach the kids to never quit and to continue to work hard, not just in baseball but in life," McCord said. "I think this team can win. We just have to put it all together. It would be huge to get some wins under our belt and it would feel good."