By: John Raffel
St. Louis pitchers getting job done for Sharks
Pitching can take high school baseball teams a long way. It's been the case at St. Louis for Markus Beeson and Jimmy Pierce.
“The highlight for me is how we're pitching as a team collectively,” Beeson said. “Everyone is helping us win a lot of games.”
Beeson is 4-1 with two saves as of early May.
It's Beeson's fourth year on varsity and the right-hander has pitched every season. It's been his best season.
“I've had more control and it's been a matter of more maturity, knowing what to throw and when, and getting my arm in as better shape as it's ever been,” he said.
In Beeson's first game of the year, all 15 putouts in the five-inning affair was by strikeout.
His fastball has gained more velocity.
“My slider has been my go-to out-pitch,” Beeson said. “I developed it last summer and throughout the winter.”
Beeson has pitched since youth leagues. If he's not on the mound, he's at second base.
“I have a good arm and good range,” he said.
Beeson was in a hitting slump in early May but indicated he's been coming around. He hit .375 in 2016 and indicated it's around the same this year.
Pierce, a righthand senior pitcher, has also pitched four years on varsity. He said he's having his best season. He has started off 3-0. His best game was against Ovid Elsie, when he gave up one run late in the game.
“In my freshman year in our last conference game, we were playing Lutheran Seminary,” Pierce said 'They still had a chance for the conference. The game I pitched, we beat them out of the conference title race.”
His fastball has been his best pitch and it's the fastest he has thrown it all season. Pierce added that he has improved on his command.
“I'm locating everything a lot better,” he said.
Pierce plays shortstop when he's not pitching.
“I do a pretty good job at reading the ball,” he said. “I'm pretty confident when it's hit to me. It feels smooth when I'm getting the ground ball. Fielding it goes pretty well.”
Pierce is hitting the .400s.
“At this part of the season compared to last year, so far it's my best season ,” he said.
A home run to open the season has been among the highlights.
“I think we're doing pretty well,” Pierce, who also plays football and basketball, said of the team. “The potential is there.”