TARPON SPRINGS, Florida. In the last 20 seasons of Tarpon Springs High School baseball, the Spongers have only won two seasons.
“We were about 10-16 in freshman year, 8-18 in sophomore year, and last year I think we were 6-21,” said Tarpon Springs outfielder and pitcher Drew Dalena. “It only gets worse as the years go by.”
This is where Seth McClung, who has been hired as the new high school baseball coach, comes into play. McClung has a wealth of experience as a former Major League Baseball pitcher.
“I think to them I’m just fat coach Seth,” McClung told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “I don’t think they know much about my professional background other than that I’ve played.”
He was drafted in the fifth round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 and played for six teams during his major league career.
“Honestly, people are talking about the Major League aspect that I bring; it’s more of a minor league aspect really,” McClung said. “The early minor league development with Tampa really opened my eyes to some of the things I could do. A lot of what we do here.”
During the summer break, McClung coaches his club team.
“He knows a lot about serving,” Dalena said. “In one bullpen, he helped me and a lot of other guys. I think we should have some pretty good pitching this year.”
“The number one job for a catcher is to always provide for that pitcher,” said catcher George Tzorbatzoglu. “He, being a pitcher, gives me a lot of advice on how to get the pitcher comfortable on the hill.”
McClung coached at Keswick Christian School (St. Petersburg) in 2015 and coached ball teams before landing in Tarpon Springs.
“As for the coach, I see a little spark in him. He wants to win. This is his main goal, ”added pitcher Colton Ritchie.
McClung played for the Race from 2003 to 2006 and for the Milwaukee from 2007 to 2009.