Westside Baseball Season Preview: Warriors Bring Depth to Team Looking to Make it Back to State


Zoe Gillespie

Westside baseball starts off their season against the reigning state champions as they look to start their journey back to the spring state tournament for the first time since 2017

The Westside varsity baseball team springs back into action as they go against the Millard South Patriots on Thursday, March 17. 

The Warriors ended their season last season with a 19-14 overall record. Senior second baseman Matt Leonard expressed the improvements the team has made since the final game last season. 

“The culture this year has significantly improved from last year,” Leonard said. “We spent a lot of time this off season really working on it and it’s really improved and I think has helped us on the field as well.”

Baseball as many other sports comes with challenges players face throughout the season and off season as well. Overall you have to stay mentally tough, Leonard said and that is something the team is maintaining and working on. 

“The biggest weakness we had coming into the year was the culture and team aspect, that part of the game was very weak last year but we have spent a lot of time fixing that during the off season, then just staying mentally tough,” Lenoard said. “It’s a long season that can come with lots of ups and downs, just trying to stay positive. We’ve worked a lot on that during the off season and will continue throughout the year working on it by setting weekly goals for that given week.”

This will be Otis Seals second full season as the head baseball coach. In an interview with PBR Nebraska, Seals expressed his excitement for the upcoming season.

“We have some good leadership coming back from our senior class,” Seals said, “We also have some young guys with experience. Overall, we’re hoping to have a talented group who loves each other and loves to compete. It will be fun to watch them gel as a team, assume their roles, and leave an impact on our program.

Senior outfielder/pitcher, Jack Scioli, thinks the current team has a lot of potential, and is poised to have a good year. Scioli hit .305 last summer, held a .475 on-base percentage, all while leading the team in walks. 

“I think we have a great group of guys coming back from last year’s team,” Scioli said, “We’ve done a lot of culture work and set clear-cut goals for this season. I think we’ve accomplished a lot over the off-season and are poised to have a great year.”

The Warriors have many senior returners. But two key additions to the squad will be junior catcher Michael Zimmerman, and the third ranked sophomore in Nebraska in Nick Anglim. Scioli thinks this year is finally the year the Warriors get over the hump of returning to state.

“We haven’t made state in a while,” Scioli said, “I believe we have a team that can not only make state, but win state.”

The Westside baseball team opens the season at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Millard South. The home opener will be against the Burke Bulldogs on Friday, March 18 at 5 p.m.