baseball

Senior Connor Donovan practices bunting with live pitching in the batting cage.

Quincy baseball Head Coach Shaun McNay has a goal this season: get the Jacks to the playoff league crossover.

“If we make it into the cross-sectional, it’s a roll of the dice,” McNay said. “You never know what’s going to happen if you get that far.”

McNay doesn’t think it’s far-fetched either. This year’s roster includes many experienced juniors and seniors, including Nick Gonzalez, Connor Donovan, Brett Kooy and Ruben Vargas, among others. In total, about 25 guys turned out for the team this year.

The Jacks hosted a playoff matchup last year against Grandview, which they lost, McNay said. Grandview actually defeated Quincy three times last season, something they hadn’t done in years, he added.

Hosting a playoff game and making it to the crossover won’t be easy and McNay knows it. The Central Washington Athletic Conference is tough, he said. CWAC opponents Selah and Ellensburg have combined to win the last six state championships at the 2A level. Those teams, along with improving teams such as Grandview and Toppenish, make for a grueling league schedule.

“When we play teams that are on the rise, we’ll get better,” McNay said. “When you play opponents that are hungry, you either get better or you get your doors blown off.”

Even if the Jacks fall short of their season goals, McNay hopes to achieve three other off-the-field goals for the guys. The first is that every player, coach and manager knows they are loved. The second, that each player is prepared to graduate from high school and for life afterward. And the third, is that the players have fun.

“I tell our guys, ‘no matter how talented you are, there’s a lot more life to live than there is baseball to play,’” McNay said.