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Stronger Together: baseball, softball players return home to the Coastal Bend

Stronger Together: Pro and college baseball and softball players return home to the Coastal Bend
Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 23:22:28-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The spring sports season is quickly approaching and offseason training is a must for elite athletes to be ready to compete, especially to prevent injury down the road. Seven athletes are back home in the Coastal Bend working together for success.

"The stuff that you got to put in in order to get what you want," Jared Kelley, Refugio grad and White Sox Double-A pitcher, said. "They're not lying whenever they say you've got to put in the work."

Jared Kelley, along with other Minor League and college ball players from the Coastal Bend, find they are stronger together in the offseason.

"We all motivate each other and push each other to the end, so it's really good to be here with these guys," Robstown native and Rangers Single-A pitcher Florencio Serrano, a.k.a Jr. said.

The focus for many of these athletes starts with family. Serrano, a new father, is training for more than himself now.

"I just had a newborn this year," Serrano said. "(I) wanted to spend time with him and be with the family. Then it's always good to come to SFS and workout with a bunch of inor Leaguers."

Jeff Paluseo trains the athletes at Sports Fitness Solutions (SFS) and prepares them for their spring season.

"Mostly everything translates to the baseball field," Kelley said. "We're not trying to get super strong here, but we're trying to stay mobile and help us on a baseball field."

The same goes for Vanessa Quiroga, a Carroll grad.

"I've already seen the results when I'm in practice and stuff and within my body," Quiroga, a University of Texas softball sophomore utility player, said. "I've already seen changes ever since I've been here, so I really trust in what he's doing."

There are a variety of athletes working on the same goal to fine-tune their pitching, catching or utility skills.

"My favorite pitch is my changeup," Serrano said. "I get a lot of swing and miss on that."

"My favorite pitch has to be my fastball," Kelley said.

The talent continues in the Coastal Bend. This past season, London and Sinton baseball celebrated high school state championships.

"I've always seen a bunch of talent here in the Coastal Bend, but I haven't really noticed how much we had until I really got here," Quiroga said. "It's been really amazing and it's been cool to see just all the different areas that people are coming from and just like everyone zoning back here in the Coastal Bend to get better."

MLB spring training for the 2023 season will officially begin on Feb. 24. The Texas softball season starts Feb. 10 against Missouri in Clearwater, Florida at the Leadoff Classic.

Jared Kelley, White Sox Double-A right-handed pitcher and Refugio grad
Florencio Serrano 'Jr.', Rangers Single-A right-handed pitcher and Robstown grad
Kale Emshoff, Royals High-A catcher and Calallen grad
Luke Taggart, Rockies High-A right-handed pitcher and Gregory-Portland grad
Aaron Hernandez, Angels Double-A right-handed pitcher and Moody and TAMU-CC grad
Michael Berglund, Guardians Double-A catcher and Carroll grad
Austin Ochoa, UTSA infielder and Refugio grad
Vanessa Quiroga, University of Texas softball and Carroll grad