Baseball team gets new coaches

Jonathan Paden

Pitching coach Phillip Byrd (left) and head coach Gary anderson (middle) talk to Junior pitcher Pete Sass (right) after the inning.

It’s out with the old and in with the new as the Decatur baseball team gets a new slate of coaches.

Those new coaches include head coach Gary Anderson, pitching coach Phillip Byrd, and assistants Jesus Martinez and Jon Paden.

Senior outfielder Jalen Spull expressed his pleasure for the new coaching staff. For Sprull, this is the third head coaching change in the last four years.

“I really like the new coaches,” he said. “They have such a chill attitude on and off the field, and I hope that some of that attitude can rub off on some of our guys.”

The two coaches who left the program include Rusty Bennett and Carlos Cardoza. Bennett leaving for Whitewater High School and Cardoza leaving for the Dominican Summer League Rangers.

Although Sprull misses Cardoza, he fully believes in Anderson on taking over as the new head coach.

“I love Cardoza to death, Sprull said. “You won’t ever find another coach like him, but at the same time, I think that Anderson is doing a great job with guiding the program and hopefully it can pay off.”

New assistant coach Phillip Byrd was excited to join the program, and hopes to help the players grow for years to come.

“When I graduated from [South Alabama], I wondered what I was going to do for work,” he said. “Then I saw that the baseball team needed some coaches, I called Gary up, showed him my resume, and now I got the job. It is great to be here with these wonderful young men and hopefully we will have a lot of success.”

This is Byrd’s first year as an official baseball coach.

Head coach Gary Anderson (left) and Jesus Martinez (right) are two of the three new coaches joining the team. Anderson is the only coach out of the program who has coached the Bulldogs in the past.

Byrd played college baseball at the University of South Alabama, but decided to pursue coaching baseball because it was a hobby of his for years.

Overall, the coaching change has been impactful for the Bulldogs as they have gotten off to an 11-3 start to the season.

Their next game will take place Friday April 1st, as they take on the Douglass Astros.



Photos courtesy of Beate Sass