With the calendar’s turn to April, the high school baseball season is officially underway, and Hendricks County’s seven programs are ready to hit the diamond after a long, cold winter.
Here’s a look at what to expect this season.
Orioles coach Troy Drosche has high expectations after a 14-17 season a year ago.
“We expect to be very good this year,” Drosche said. “The pitching staff is loaded. We will compete for a Hoosier Crossroads Conference title and have a good chance to advance far in the state tournament.”
The pitchers include three Division I recruits in Khristian Reynolds (Indiana State), Chandler Sanburn (Wichita State) and Matt Moore (Purdue). Reynolds had a team-low 1.89 ERA a year ago, and batted .344 with a squad-best 19 RBI.
Jake Smith and Austin Gossman fill out Avon’s experienced roster of hurlers, and catcher Cole Bennett will man home plate after waiting patiently behind four-year starter Dylan Jones (University of Indianapolis). Pitcher/outfielder Nick Handlon and outfielder Tanner Brandt are among the Orioles’ top newcomers.
To max out, Avon has to back up its solid pitching by performing with the bat.
“The key will be scoring enough runs,” Drosche said. “We will need to have consistency at the plate and put the ball in play to keep pressure on the other team.”
John Mlagan (.457 BA last season), Josh Stroud, Zachary Sperback and Grant Ringler are the top returnees for the Patriots, while Andrew Caes and Andre Stone will be counted on in their first seasons.
First-year coach David Stafford believes effort will take Bethesda a long way, on and off the diamond.
“We believe in giving our all every time we step onto the field and striving to get better every single day,” Stafford said. “Through baseball, we will experience both successes and failures, but our goal is to learn from and respond positively to both.”