Homer baseball Mariners focus on fundamentals

First year Mariner Head Coach Mark Putney is readying a large group of ball players for the short high school baseball season. 

“We are spending time in the gym, waiting for the field to thaw, but this also helps us break down the game into smaller sections,” said Putney.

Nahoa Jette and Tommy Bowe are the two seniors on the team, serving as co-captains. 

“We also have a strong group of juniors,” said Putney and, with 25 ball-players, Homer also will be able to field a junior varsity team to help develop even more players.

“We have a good looking team. It might take a game or two to get us started but we’ve got some good players,” said Bowe.

“The team has good chemistry,” said Jette.  

The Mariners open the regular season in Kodiak for a pair of games this Friday and Saturday.

The first home game is April 29, with a JV game at 4 p.m. and the varsity game at 7 p.m.

As always, the high school season is fast and furious, with games throughout late April and the first three weeks of May before the 11-game regular season concludes with a home game on May 20 against Soldotna and a final game in Kenai on May 26. 

Fans that can’t make a home game or any of the away games can listen to the action on KGTL radio, with Dave Webb calling the action. Games are weather
dependent; call the high school at 235-4600 for schedule changes.

Putney is being assisted by Rich Sonnen and Steve Fuson.  The three coaches are focusing on baseball fundamentals this year.

“We work on the little things and try to improve them each day,” said Putney. “We try to emphasize maximizing the players’ potential, rather than merely on winning a game.”

The coaches gave a shout-out to the community and baseball parents who make the season possible with fundraising and other background work needed for another exciting season of Mariner baseball.

Jette summed it up.

“As a team we are connecting with each other…we want to have fun and go out and play baseball,” he said.

As this will be Putney’s first and last season as head coach — he’ll be heading to Oregon — the team motto is, “Get Putney a championship this year.”