TRINITY — Coming off a season that saw JW Mitchell High School’s baseball team go 23-7, the Mustangs eventually fell short of their goal of reaching states. Mitchell lost to Venice 5-2 in the Class 7A, Region 3 final but the team vowed to adopt a mentality of reloading and not rebuilding.
With a roster that’s primarily sophomore-laden, the Mustangs weren’t predicted by many to start off the 2019 campaign the way they have as Mitchell has rushed off to an impressive 11-0 start heading into the Farm Bureau Classic championship, in which they’ll face Springstead for the title.
“Last year around this time we reached the semifinals and we were playing really good baseball then,” Mitchell coach Howard Chittum added. “The kids really wanted to come in here and take it that extra step further this time. Obviously, we’re not going to settle for just making it. We want to win (the championship).”
An example of Mitchell’s dominance so far, this season has been through the Farm Bureau Classic tournament, with the Mustangs soundly defeating opponents, including shutting out Bishop McLaughlin 11-0 in just five innings of play. The Mustangs are currently the team to beat in Pasco County and no one is overlooking the youthful group.
In just his second season as Mitchell’s head coach, Chittum owns a record of 34-7 through 41 games and he knows that despite having a solid 2018 season, many around the county doubted the Mustangs having another solid season because of such a young roster.
“I don’t think many people around the county thought we would be where we are because of how young our team is,” Chittum added. “We have so many sophomores and they decided early on they were not going to take a step back.”