19 5 A SCHOOLS
VYPE's Preseason Baseball Top 20 -- No. 2 Memorial Mustangs
February 13, 2012By Matt Malatesta of Memorial High School
The Memorial Mustangs
The Swag is Back
Reached the Regional Finals
By Austin Staton
For years, Memorial High School has been arguably the most consistent baseball program within the Beltway and last season was no exception.
However, things didn’t end the way the Mustangs had planned.
In a two-game sweep, Memorial was eliminated from the state baseball tournament by the eventual Class 5A champions, Clute Brazoswood. Despite their deep playoff run that included wins over Bellaire, Langham Creek, Seven Lakes and Clements, the Mustangs weren’t satisfied with the outcome of the season.
With several publications ranking Memorial as one of the top teams in the nation last season, falling in the regional playoffs wasn’t supposed to happen.
Despite last year's setback, the Mustangs should be the odds-on-favorites to emerge from the Region III bracket this spring as they return an extremely talented squad that boasts several seniors that will be playing collegiate baseball at traditional powers.
"Our strength is experience," coach Jeremy York said. "We have five starters who have been to two regionals finals. The younger guys in our program know what is expected here and they fill in. You just can't substitute experience."
Standout infielders Ben Carl and Drew Tolson will be heading to Baylor next fall as the duo makes up a formidable left side of the infield while Tolson doubles as a pitcher for coach Jeremy York’s squad.
Behind a 33-6 overall record last season, Carl was named the district co-MVP after posting an impressive .379 batting average with 25 RBI and 47 runs scored. Moreover, Tolson is a returning all-state performer that compiled a 7-2 record on the mound with 93 strikeouts to just 17 walks while posting a 1.95 ERA in 71.2 innings of work. Offensively, he notched a .432 batting average with 26 RBI.
As a first-team all-district performer last season, senior Beau Rathjen will be out this season after shoulder surgery but will follow his older brother Jeremy to Rice next season. As a six-foot-two, 185-pound standout, Rathjen posses solid power and would have provided a spark for the Memorial offense. Someone will have to make up his output.
Directing the pitching staff for Memorial will be dual-sport standout and TCU-signee Boomer White. As a power right-handed hitter, White is one of the area’s best catchers and features the mental toughness and backbone that can help Memorial advance past the regional playoffs.
Not afraid to challenge the area’s best, the Mustangs will play a difficult non-district schedule that features Seven Lakes, Klein Collins and The Woodlands and will prepare them for another deep postseason run.
With the senior-laden roster and multiple high-profile baseball prospects, the road to the Dell Diamond out of the city of Houston will come through District 19-5A’s preseason favorites, Memorial.