Week 2 Team Preview: Galena Marsh Taco Punchers
Team of the Week: Galena Marsh Taco Punchers
LaPorte- The reigning National League West Champions are back in 2017 with a lot of motivation after their early playoff exit last season. After a great regular season, the White Lightning came to the Marsh and swept the Dabbers 2-0 in the NLDS Best of 3 series. Galena Marsh returns with a new identity this season as they changed their team name from the Dabbers to the Taco Punchers. Now it is time to take a look at both the good and the bad revolving around the Taco Punchers here in 2017.
Reasons they will win:
With Jared Emmons on the mound, Galena Marsh will always have good shot at a title. The Cy young winner led the league in strikeouts in 2016 with 29 and led the league in wins with 14. He also managed to leads the team in Home runs (41), RBI’s (50) and Hits (75). All 5 of Galena Marsh’s main starts batted over .400 which is a really uplifting and stat. With that many people getting on base you're sure to score a lot of runs. Another positive for Galena Marsh is their experience, when captain Jared Emmons was interviewed here’s what he had to say about their experience. “The best thing we have going for us is our experience. The majority of our team was around in year 1 of ORWBL. Winning the division our first year back was a good sign getting back into the swing of playing after a few years off. Hopefully we can build off that and have a strong showing this year.”
Although no changes were made over the offseason this Galena Marsh team thinks they have what it takes to win the ORWBL title this year, after last year getting upset in the divisional round by the White Lightning. One huge asset to Galena Marsh is Jordan Smoroske. In 2016 he led the team in batting average batting .549 which was quite impressive considering many around the league struggled to eclipse the .500 mark. Galena also showed huge potential in 2016 by taking 2 out of 3 versus the defending ORWBL Champion Newts. Although this was early in the season this shows Galena Marsh can get the job done. Galena will once again have a Week 1 matchup against the Newts in 2017, as they will be at Migley this time around. Another huge positive for Galena Marsh is their division. Instead of having veteran teams like the Muffs and White Lightning, they are now accompanied by a new, inexperienced Granger Panthers team, and a Lynn Street team who went 1-14 last year after replacing the Bertrand Bombers. If Galena Marsh plays like they did last season, many think they should cruise to another NL West title.
Reasons they won't:
Galena Marsh didn’t end things well in 2016, as they lost 5 straight games to end the season. They better hope this doesn’t carry on to this season. Something else that is questionable is the playoffs. Although it was only their first official year, Galena Marsh couldn’t muster a playoff win, and were swept by the 4th seeded White Lightning in the ALDS. Galena Marsh could win the NL West every year, but if they can’t win in the playoffs it won’t matter. The new division could be a positive but it could also be a negative. The new Granger team in their division is young and a lot of people can see them doing something great in this league, as they have played great in tournaments, boasting out onto the scene in 2016. Also this young Lynn Street team has been putting in a lot of work over the offseason and have added Levi Miller and Luke Ketter. Galena Marsh isn’t scared of either of these young opponents, but maybe one of them can over power Galena Marsh to win the division. Galena Marsh is also one of the few teams that didn’t make any offseason moves. Most people believe if a team can’t get a win in the playoffs, they should probably make some changes, but Galena Marsh has seemed to ignore this opinion. Emmons and company feel strong about their roster from 2016 so they will look to give it another shot.
Galena Marsh has 4 tough series to start off the season. They play against New Carlisle, Olive Township, Emery’s Army, and Granger. Other than the Olive Township series, those series are all on road. That could be a very rough road stretch if Galena doesn’t play well but the veterans should adjust to each ballpark as they did last season. All in all, Galena Marsh must come out of the gates ready to go once the season starts, but Jared Emmons seems very confident in his team as we near March. Emmons also had some encouraging words to say about his squad when asked about his team’s outlook. “As long as Jordan Smoroske isn't off to the police academy he'll be a big bat once again in our line up. Denis Jedrysek is probably one of the best hitters in ORWBL history and he had a good year last year, but not one of his best seasons. If Denis can improve from last year we will be in really good shape. Another name to watch is Sam Zucker who we signed half way through the year last year. Sam should be a solid contributor all season. And then Steve Pravecek had an all star year for us last year as well. If he can keep up that production that's good news for us. Also if I (Emmons) has another Cy young type year along with another solid year at the plate. The more I talk the more confident I get in our chances this season.”
PROJECTED RECORD: 17-13