Alleman's Ledezma puts in the work


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Originally Posted Online: April 24, 2013, 7:27 pm
Last Updated: April 24, 2013, 11:03 pm
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By DJ Jarvis, djarvis@qconline.com

A season ago, Taner Ledezma hit .250 for an Alleman Pioneer baseball team that came up one win short of the IHSA Class 2A State championship.

Ledezma used that as motivation to become a better player.

And this week's Metro Pacesetter for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus has done just that. He is hitting .378 thus far this season, including going 5-for-7 with four RBIs and pitching a complete game shutout in a doubleheader Western Big 6 Conference sweep of United Township last Saturday.

Ledezma worked all off-season with various coaches to improve in all facets of the game, including working with former baseball scout Joe Murphy to basically "start from scratch" to revamp his hitting approach.

"We just went through the basics and fixed it all up" said Ledezma of working with Murphy.

Ledezma totaled 20 hits during last season's run to the state championship, a total that he is just six shy of reaching through 15 games this season.

"Last year, I started off bad and I started to think that I was bad," said Ledezma "This year, I just know that I'm better than the pitcher and know in my head that I'm going to hit it."

Ledezma played Rock Island Legion baseball last summer, helping them get to the District Championship. Seeing live pitching to go with the changed mechanics in his swing began his upward trend.

On top of his work with Murphy on his hitting and Alleman pitching coach Kirk Clark and Augustana's pitching coach Mike Myers on his pitching, Ledezma also participates in Quad City Sports Performance before school.

"He has worked extremely hard in the offseason," said Alleman coach Chris Lemon, "You're talking about going down at five or six in the morning, three or four days a week before school. Taner went from middle of the pack to leading the pack in conditioning."

Ledezma believes that his success at the plate has carried over to his confidence on the mound.

"Once you're doing well, it all falls into place," said Ledezma, "The harder you work on the mound, the more you're team is in the game and ready to hit."

Ledezma also keeps a special person close to him as much as possible at both at the plate and on the mound. Taner wears a cross around his neck that has a thumb print and the name of his late brother, Tyler, who passed away in 2010. Keeping his brother close to his heart gives Taner special motivation.

"Tyler taught me how to play the game," said Taner, "I owe it to him to reach my full potential and I'm not going to stop until I do."

Coach Lemon thinks one of the big differences in Ledezma's approach this season is his view of the game.

"He's in better condition and he seems to be better focused,'' said Lemon. "He seems to be having a lot of fun playing the game right now."



Metro Pacesetter -- Alleman's Taner Ledezma

Favorite food: Mom's homemade chicken tacos
Favorite movie: "Major League"
Favorite sport other than baseball: football
Favorite TV Show: "Workaholics"
Favorite athlete: Late brother, Tyler Ledezma
Parents: Melissa and Randy Ledezma, East Moline














 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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