Goshen baseball says goodbye to seniors

Published 3:00 am Thursday, April 30, 2015

With the Goshen Eagles having finished out the 2015 season, head coach Robby Kinsaul said he would be forever grateful for the leadership, guidance and effort his three seniors had given during their time on the team.

“As they get ready to go on and leave, I hope they always remember what they represent,” Kinsaul said. “I feel like they understand that they will always be welcome in anything we do, and they will always be a Goshen Eagle. Those boys need to always remember how much they mean to me, and I am thankful for every second that I got to deal with them. It’ll be a big adjustment to not be around those guys.”

The Eagles finished 8-15 on the season and faced Luverne High School in the first round of last weekend, losing 11-1 in the first game and 11-4 in the second game.

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Through the course of the season, Kinsaul said the team’s biggest push to get into the playoffs was for seniors Tyler Phillips, Bryant Stephens and Ty Witherington, even adopting a 14 strong mantra for the season.

Kinsaul said Phillips was the epitome of a student-athlete and the Eagles’ first basemen had left incredibly large shoes to fill in the upcoming season.

“I mean you say the name Tyler Phillips, everybody knows what kind of person you get,” Kinsaul said. “We are very proud of what he stands for and all that he’s accomplished, not only as an athlete but a student athlete. He is very tough.”

Kinsaul said he had the opportunity to coach Phillips for six years and was thankful for the support Phillips’s family had brought to the program.

“It was hard to watch him walk off the field for the last time,” Kinsaul said. “My first year at Goshen, he was a seventh-grader, so I’m thankful to have been around his family for five or six years and have him in our program. He will be highly missed.”

Stephens, a regular starter on the mound for the Eagles, also left an impact on the team.

“Bryant is a young man who hasn’t been with us as long as the other two, but I remember when he came over as a ninth-grader, that summer going into his tenth grade year,” Kinsaul said. “During our summer ball, we playing Samson and seeing him throw, I knew at that moment what Bryant could do, not only on the mound, but out in the outfield. The way he can catch the ball is unreal. I am so proud to be able to coach and teach him in school.”

Witherington also saw considerable time on the pitchers mound for the Eagles , and Kinsaul said he could not be more proud of the way Witherington had grown as a person.

“I’ve been around him his whole time at Goshen, and he has been the finest,” Kinsaul said. “When I think of Ty, I think he is a fighter. Just like our other two seniors he loves Goshen. Ty is a perfect example of someone who always wants to work to get better. It didn’t matter if it was Northview or Elba, New Brockton, Zion Chapel, he didn’t think of it that way. He just wanted to get out there and throw the ball.”

Like any coach watching their seniors take their final at bats, walk to the mound or coming off the field for the last time, Kinsaul said it had been emotional for not only the players, but also for him.

“The end to the season was emotional,” Kinsaul said. “You always want more. You hate to see it end for somebody.”