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Baseball: Mowrey anchors offense, defense for Pirates

<p>photo by BRIAN D. SANDERFORD</p><p>Cedarville shortstop Tyler Mowrey practices on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Mowrey is an anchor for the Pirates’ offense and defense.</p>

photo by BRIAN D. SANDERFORD

Cedarville shortstop Tyler Mowrey practices on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Mowrey is an anchor for the Pirates’ offense and defense.

Tyler Mowrey is the type of baseball player Cedarville coach Terry Parks would like to duplicate. He said so at last season’s team banquet.

“I’ve always said I wish I could have nine of him,” Parks said. “He’s a good student, he’s really grounded and he’ll do anything you ask of him.”

Like, move from second base to shortstop.

A four-year starter, Mowrey told his coach last season he’d be happy to give up his slot at second base this season if it meant helping the team.

“We talked about it during the offseason and I told him I wanted to do it. I’ll do whatever is asked of me,” Mowrey said. “The ball gets to you a lot quicker at shortstop. Over at second, I had all day.”

The ambidextrous Mowrey, who writes, eats and bats left-handed but throws with his right hand, began quizzing Parks on the move to shortstop at the end of the 2012 season. After a period of adjustment, Mowrey has settled in nicely.

With Mowrey anchoring the Pirates’ infield with a .987 fielding percentage, Cedarville is off to its fastest start in Parks’ tenure. Along with his steady glove, Mowrey is also batting .447.

About the only thing slowing down the undefeated Pirates (8-0) this week is the weather. Cedarville had three scheduled games — including a 3A-1 West game against Elkins — rained out this week.

“We’re happy about the results, but I think we all have higher goals,” Mowrey said. “I would say we’ve surprised ourselves, but right now it’s all about practice. If we come out and do what we have to do, and we do the extra little things like take extra hitting when we don’t have to be here, then I think we’ll achieve our coals.”

Mowrey’s move to short, the team’s pitching depth and a more-focused work ethic are just a few of the reasons the Pirates have started quickly.

“We’re taking it serious and practicing harder this year,” Mowrey said. “We’ve been down for a couple of years and we decided we wanted to make a splash and surprise some people.”

Mowrey says the Pirates are looking forward to today’s nonconference game against Lincoln. The 4A Wolves have had their way with Cedarville in recent years, Mowrey said.

“It’s kind of like a rivalry for us,” he said. “We haven’t had much success against them. We want to redeem ourselves from years past.”

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