The fielding switch was more jarring. Mach replaced his brother at third base at Missouri, and, besides "goofing around" in the outfield while playing in the Texas Collegiate League last summer, he had played on the infield throughout high school and college.
Former Missouri outfielder Hunter Mense, back in Columbia after a minor league stint to announce baseball games for ESPN Radio, worked with Mach. Mense knew Mach had played defensive back on the football team in high school (where he also caught passes from friend Blaine Gabbert), and he said the footwork was basically the same.
"He's right," Mach said. "I've been taking what I know about just being an athlete out there and making plays."
■ Graves set to return for Francis Howell (stltoday.com)
Maybe the Francis Howell baseball team got a bit lucky, or maybe Brett Graves is just that tough.
Either way, the Vikings dodged a bullet this week after their senior standout and Missouri signee was struck on his pitching hand by a comebacker and exited his start Tuesday against visiting Holt.
Howell coach Tony Perkins said Thursday that Graves is OK and could return to the lineup as early as Saturday.
"He's fine," Perkins said. "He worked out (Thursday), and he'll throw Tuesday (against Timberland). I wasn't real worried about it. Others were. My phone has been ringing off the hook and message boards have been buzzing."
■ Griffey imparts wisdom on Mavs (vvdailypress.com)
It wasn’t so long ago when Ken Griffey Jr. was “The Kid.”
The athletic baseball protege with the smooth swing that left children imitating him in the backyard.
Now 41 and in his first year of retirement, he is spending a little time with the Seattle Mariners’ new kids.
Griffey, who works as a consultant with the Mariners, spent Monday and Tuesday analyzing, coaching and assisting the High Desert Mavericks players, spending time mostly on their swings and approach at the plate.
“He brings so much experience and so much success … it’s hard to not gravitate towards him,” Mavericks catcher Trevor Coleman said. “He’s got the personality that you just want to be around, but he also brings the mechanical and mental experience. You just try to soak up anything you can, but it has been a great experience having him here.”