Like any coach, Torrenti didn’t know what to expect from his new team in 2013, and understood that there would be a learning process between him, his staff and the players.
“Part of the challenge was determining who we were as a team,” Torrenti said. “It was hard to see if were good. We had to figure out who could do what and assess where we were. And even in the first five games, we still tried to figure it out because we had guys that can play multiple positions.”
Torrenti was able to determine at least one thing early, which was that his team had the potential to be very good. Three of the Indians first six games were against teams that qualified for the state playoffs a season ago. Mill Creek reached the state Class AAAAA semifinals, while Brookwood advanced to the quarters. Heritage-Catoosa made an appearance in Class AAA.
“I was aware of who we were up against in those first five or six games,” Torrenti said. “What I learned when it was over is that I felt like we could do something pretty special if we just approach the season one game at a time.”
McEachern managed to go 6-0 in those games to start the year, and the Indians are currently 16-4 overall under their first-year coach, having won nine of their last 10 games. McEachern also owns a share of the Region 4AAAAAA lead with a
The 16 wins are already more than last year’s total, and only three years ago — 2010 — McEachern went 1-23. The 2007 state playoff team was 18-10 overall.
“These kids are athletic,” Torrenti said. “Players 1 through 18 are all athletic. That’s one of our biggest strengths along with our depth.”
The Indians’ success is also evident in their hitting and pitching. McEachern is averaging 7.3 runs per game while holding opponents to 3.3 per contest. Along with assistant coaches Karlton Schilling, Josh Cole and Randy Taylor, Torrenti has managed to imprint his style and philosophy on the unit and it’s paying dividends.
“I have a hard time not enjoying myself on a baseball field and I want the kids to feel the same way,” he said. “We keep it about baseball, and I’m proud of the kids for maintaining their consistency. We’re not doing anything different.
“We’ve had some clutch at-bats and I’ve tried to free them up to be athletes and approach each kid as an individual. We’re winning, but we haven’t accomplished anything yet. I am proud, though, of our approach and the way we do things.”
The seniors have also played an important role as well.
“Anytime there’s a transition, you worry about guys buying into what you want to do,” Torrenti said. “You want the kids to trust us as coaches and the seniors have helped facilitate that. The kids have bought into our process. It’s a fun group to be around.”