After graduating seven seniors from its lineup, head coach Justin Mullins is optimistic about McAlester varsity baseball’s outlook this year.
“We have three returning starters from last season’s team. We are breaking in six-seven new starters but feel like we have capable guys that can fill those holes out,” Mullins said. “We lost a lot of big bats in the lineup and will have to get the new guys going offensively to get where we need to be at the end of the season.”
Ethan Gillespie, a senior and four-year starter behind the dish, is the “ultimate team guy” and will provide necessary expertise this spring.
“[Gillespie] hit around . 400 for us over his career and leads us in home runs over his career,” Mullins said. “He will help us also on the mound this year.”
Gillespie is signed to play catcher at Coffeyville Junior College after high school.
Senior pitcher Seth Sam came into his own last season, playing a pivotal role for the Buffaloes down the stretch. He’s signed to play at Murray State College.
“[Sam] will be our No. 1 on the mound this year and has had a great preseason. He also will play on the infield for us,” Mullins said.
Junior Caden Lesnau will start at shortstop, back up Sam and bat third. He started at quarterback on the Buffs’ football state runner-up campaign in the fall and has started for McAlester baseball since he was a freshman.
Junior Ganon Mullins, often the team’s unsung hero, is “one of the hardest workers on the team” and is expected play third, pitch and hit in the middle of the lineup for the Buffs.