By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– While their older counterparts were in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, the SWAT Baseball 12U squad too made the trip down to Las Vegas as well for the Winter Blast NIT Tournament.
The team that includes kids from the Sprague, North Salem, South Salem and McMinnville school-zones and will be representing those schools in the future saw the offense was on fire as Max Quintero had an outstanding .600 batting average with teammate Aiden Mashos on his heels with a .500 batting average.
“The experience was amazing! We competed, we played well and showed some real good upside. We will do great this season back home,” said coach Alex Alvarado. “The competition out here is phenomenal, this experience makes us better. ”
Alvarado, who’s worked with older kids in the Salem area like the Vikings Jake Mason, the Saxons Noah Ferguson and North Marion’s Brady Hansen and not to mention the occasional out-of-state kids like Camas’ (Washington) Cameron Smith, Alvarado talked about the strategy he and his coaches go with in helping developing young athlete’s as they get ready for the High School-Level.
“We have a 85% ratio Player-College. I will explain the reason why,” starts Alvarado. “We coach players at a position that they will play in the future. We don’t switch spots very often. This allows a player to develop the spot everyday. We have a winning mentality, a thing that goes a long way, we teach players to WIN at everything they do wether it be a pitch or beating the other team on and off the field.
“Playing high level tournaments and putting a young player in pressure situations makes them sure of who they are as an athlete. While most teams are indoor practicing and taking time off, Swat 12u has 2 more winter tournaments scheduled.”