Zach Hernandez rears to go in the batters box against Kentridge. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Zach Hernandez rears to go in the batters box against Kentridge. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Kent 2024 prep baseball season preview

No Kent school has made the state tournament since 2018, but these teams look to change that.

The baseball season officially kicked off March 7 with a jamboree between Kentlake, Kentridge and Kentwood high schools. The three schools played modified games, only playing three innings. But it was a good way to start the season and an even better way to get to know these three squads.

Here is a preview of the three schools and what they expect this season, as well as some players to watch during the upcoming 2024 season.

Kentlake Falcons

• 2023 record: 11-11 (10-2)

The Falcons are a team to watch at the 3A level and could be looked at as league title contenders with state tournament aspirations. With sophomore Christopher Moore leading the way, Kentlake Head Coach Mike Suguro is readying the troops.

“It was real bittersweet ending the season the way that it did … The season ended super abruptly. For the seniors (a year ago), it was bittersweet. But for the other guys, it was kind of like a new beginning for them. We got excited for what is to come. We’re really excited with what we got,” Suguro said.

Players to watch: Christopher Moore, sophomore (Inf/RHP); Ethan Loghry, senior (Utl/LHP); Gavin Liechty, senior (3B/RHP).

Kentridge Chargers

• 2023 record: 11-11 (6-6)

Kentridge was a very solid team last season despite how young their starting nine actually was. A team that graduated just three players a season ago, Kentridge is back with a playoff win and a couple more young players that are set to make an impact.

Head Coach Sheldon Stober doesn’t concern himself with wins and losses, but seeing improvement in an environment like the jamboree is intrinsically important.

“We’ve got high hopes this year. It is going to be exciting,” Stober said. “I just want them to compete. Obviously I want them to have fun, but I want them to compete. I want them to get better everyday. It is nice to win, but it is not about wins and losses. I want the kids to grow as human beings and as men.”

Players to watch: Teegan O’Brien, junior (C); Rylan Gullard, senior (OF); Akoni Nazarino, freshman (OF/RHP).

Kentwood Conquerors

• 2023 record: 8-12 (5-7)

Kentwood is a historically great baseball school. It is the only Kent school with a state championship on the diamond. They have more top four places than all other Kent schools combined. But the Conks haven’t made a state tournament since 2017, and they are looking to make an impact this season.

The Conks fell in the district tournament last season to Bellarmine in the first round and are looking for a solid push this season to get over the hump.

“We’re hoping this team matures a little bit and the extra year of experience helps them get their minds right. I hope they feel that extra bit of confidence because we are an older group. We have a lot of seniors,” said Head Coach Mark Zender.

Players to watch: Jackson Dulay, senior (OF); Jacob Sauceda, senior (INF); Kasen Landry, senior (1B/RHP).

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Christopher Moore eyes down the batter in the jamboree at Kent-Meridian. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Christopher Moore eyes down the batter in the jamboree at Kent-Meridian. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Teegan O’Brien hits his double celebration in the Chargers first game of the night. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Teegan O’Brien hits his double celebration in the Chargers first game of the night. Ben Ray / The Reporter

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