2020 Spring Preview: Galena Baseball

By Pat Dailey (For OzarkSportsZone.com)

Derwin McGownd is counting on his recruiting efforts at Galena to up the Bears’ numbers. They had only 11 players on their roster last fall.

“I’m hoping a lot of that had to do with me being a new coach here and the kids not knowing what to expect,” said McGownd, who arrived at Galena after 13 years, four District titles, three South Central Association titles and one state championship at Mountain Grove. “We’re hoping kids who have played in the past and some of the athletes we have walking the hallways will come out and play. I think we could have four or five new faces anchor down some spots.”

McGownd feels he has a budding star in sophomore Logan Busbey, an All-SWCL Second-Team selection as a freshman a year ago. In the fall, Busbey hit .447 with four triples and 14 stolen bases.

“He’ll remain in center field and we’ll try to fill in around him,” McGowns said. “He reads the ball well off the bat and gets a great jump. He’s not afraid to dive after the baseball and nine times out of 10 will come up with it. He’s played a lot of baseball. He’s a very good athlete with speed and knowledge of the game. He’ll be my leadoff hitter and will have the green light to run at first base whenever he feels he has an opportunity.”

First baseman Logan Thompson was an All-SWCL First-Team pick last year. He hit only .241 in the fall, but produced two homers and 14 RBIs.

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“He started off well in the fall, hit a slump and then came on strong toward the end of the season,” McGownd said. “He’s a big, strong country boy. He’s a solid player and team leader. With Logan, I know what I’m getting. We’re a pretty young team, so I will for him to provide leadership for younger kids.”

Cameron Robertson and Grant Harness are also pivotal players for Galena. Harness enjoyed a breakthrough fall season, hitting .444 with 24 hits and 16 RBIs. At times, Robertson and Harness will rotate as pitcher and catcher. They’ll lead a pitching staff McGownd feels has promise to shine.

“We’re going to rely heavily on Robertson and Harness,” McGownd said. “Cameron is probably the hardest thrower I’ve got. He’s by far the liveliest arm we’ve got. He tries to overthrow a bit in certain situations. We’re trying to develop him into a pitcher, instead of a hard thrower. We’re going to rely on Grant also. He is savvy. He pitches to contact and hits his locations.”

Wyatt Snelson and Busbey will be on the mound, as well.

“Snelson pounds the strike zone,” McGownd said. “He’s not going to overpower anybody or fool a lot of people. He’ll keep the ball down and make teams hit ground balls. We’re developing Busbey as a starting pitcher. If he can accept that role, we’ll have four good arms we can throw who will eat up innings for us.”

Robertson, Snelson and Busbey teamed for eight wins in the fall. Snelson was 3-1 with two saves and a 0.60 ERA.

When not on the mound, Snelson will play at third base. Kellen Campbell is back at second base, after hitting .315 in the fall.

McGownd feels the Bears, who were 9-9 in the fall, can be competitive.

“I think we can be pretty much the same as the fall, about .500, maybe a little better,” he said.

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