After winning the 4A State Baseball Championship in 2010, the Kentwood Conquerors did not have similar success in 2011, losing in the de facto quarterfinals against Redmond. But, this team has rebounded in a big way this season, and is poised to make another run at the state title in late May.
The Conquerors are undefeated to this point on the year, holding a record of 18-0, including a 6-0 win over West Seattle on Saturday at Safeco Field. Kentwood has blitzed their oppponents in SPSL 4A thus far, and with just one game remaining tomorrow against Jefferson, the team appears to be firing on all cylinders heading into the postseason.
On the season, the Conks have been led by brothers Cash and Reese McGuire, who have combined to lead the team in nearly every offensive category. Coming into the West Seattle game, Cash McGuire had a .469 BA to lead the team, while his brother Reese led with 4 HR.
Hitting has not been the only factor going right so far for head coach Mark Zender. The pitching has also been stellar throughout the season, and the team has been bolstered by Skyler Genger, Taylor Jones and Lucas Gately. Genger holds the team lead with 6 wins and a 0.66 ERA. Jones has 27 strikeouts and Gately holds 2 saves.
The combination of pitching and hitting has allowed Kentwood to stay undefeated to this point, as they have fought off tough tests by the likes of Rogers, Kentlake, Kentridge and Auburn Riverside in SPSL play. Being undefeated can weigh on a team mentally heading into a playoff atmosphere, but nonetheless, the Conquerors appear ready to embrace the challenge.