West Orange baseball improving entering district schedule


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  • | 2:43 a.m. March 12, 2015
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WINTER GARDEN — Ahead of their series this week against Apopka to open district play in Class 8A District 3, the West Orange Warriors defeated the Blue Darters’ neighbor in Apopka, the Wekiva Mustangs, 4-3, to get back over .500 at 5-4 this spring.

A young ballclub under veteran coach Jesse Marlo, the Warriors are looking to hit their stride against Apopka on Wednesday at home (game after the time of press) and Friday on the road.

Ironically enough, for a program whose pitching has long been its signature strength, this year’s West Orange team needs some improvement in its rotation but has seen better-than-normal hitting. 

“The bats are continuing to get better every week,” Marlo said. “We’ve got to get better on the mound still — we’re not real deep on the mound, which is a little unusual for us.”

The Warriors’ bullpen can be encouraged by the win over the Mustangs, though, as Nathan Schreckengost was strong in 3.1 innings of relief work, picking up the win.

Schreckengost came on in relief in the top of the third inning after the Mustangs had scored four runs, taking a 4-2 lead, and ended the visitors’ rally to give West Orange a chance to respond with its bats.

“(Schreckengost) coming in there and doing that for us was huge,” Marlo said. “We just converted him into being a submarine pitcher. He’s only thrown about two innings down there, and he went out there … and threw some good curve balls and things like that that I need to see.”

After the series with Apopka, the Warriors are set for a three-game slate next week, hosting Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville) on Monday before playing Ocoee in their second district series on Tuesday and Thursday.

Marlo said he is just looking for his players to take improvements from practice and apply them under the lights.

“We’ve got a pretty young team, experience-wise, and we’ve just got to keep getting better every game,” Marlo said. “They’re doing the things we need them to do at practice, and they’re implementing it in the game, so I’m pretty proud of them so far.”

 

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