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Salukis want to build on momentum
BRIDGEPORT - Red Hill High School's baseball team hopes that last season's success will serve as a good foundation.
"We lost a lot of seniors," said Red Hill coach Mike Wallace, whose team used a nine-game winning streak a year ago, en route to posting a 14-10 record. "But we've got strong senior leadership this year, too. I expect us to pick up right where we left off."
The Salukis are scheduled to open the season Tuesday by hosting Robinson at the Tank Farm at 4:30 p.m.
Pitching figures to be a strength for the Salukis, as senior Corey Burkhardt and junior Jacob Wirth will serve as the 1-2 starters after gaining plenty of experience last season. Burkhardt posted a 2-1 pitching record a year ago, while Wirth was 2-2 with two saves.
"Those two have a lot of varsity experience and we're going to rely on them," said Wallace. "But we have a lot of other arms, who don't have a lot of experience, and we're hoping to work them into things."
Sophomore Ryan Kolb has been tabbed as a starter, Steven Hartz, another sophomore, will work in relief and possibly as an emergency starter. Others who fit into the mound picture are junior Trey Aguirre and senior Noah Puntney. Sophomore Steven Ramsaran and freshman Dalton Murray are also possibilities, according to Wallace.
Blake Adams, a junior, returns to do the catching, while Kolb, Puntney and Burkhardt are in the running at first base, depending upon who is pitching. Aguirre and Ramsaran are in the running to play second base, while Hartz is the leading candidate to play shortstop.
In the outfield, Wallace tentatively plans to use senior Tristan Zollars, Wirth and Murray from left to right. Others who'll see time in the outfield are Ramsaran, sophomore Isaiah Cavins and senior Adam Padilla.
"We have a lot of options in the outfield," said Wallace. "From day to day, who plays in the outfield will depend upon who's pitching and a variety of other things."
Others listed on the Red Hill roster are juniors T.J. Criswell and Andrew Buchanan, sophomores Jacob Abell and Swade Howard and freshmen Grant Gaither, Nathan Bruner, Adam Sendmeyer, John Peters and Tyler Reed.
The primary goal, according to Wallace, is to capture the school's first regional title since 1993. A regular season scheduled stocked primarily with Class 2A competition, should help the team prepare.
"We seem to play really well against 2A teams, but the last couple of years at regional time it seems like we tend to play down to our level of competition and we've not been successful," he said. "We need to break out of that this year."
March 12 ROBINSON, 4:30 p.m.
March 18 Mt. Carmel, 4:30 p.m.
March 21 CARMI, 4:30 p.m.
March 28 HUTSONVILLE, 4:30 p.m.
April 1 Lawrenceville, 4:30 p.m.
April 4 CUMBERLAND, 4:30 p.m.
April 6 S. KNOX, Ind., 11 a.m.
April 8 MARSHALL, 4:30 p.m.
April 11 Robinson, 4:30 p.m.
April 15 OLNEY, 4:30 p.m.
April 18 Casey, 4:30 p.m.
April 20 DAWG CLASSIC, 9 a.m.
April 22 EDWARDS CO., 4:30 p.m.
April 25 NEWTON, 4:30 p.m.
April 27 MT. CARMEL, 11 a.m.
April 29 Oblong, 4:30 p.m.
May 6 FLORA, 4:30 p.m.
May 9 L'EVILLE, 4:30 p.m.
HOME GAMES IN CAPS