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3/18/2014 11:40:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
High school baseball
Indians young yet experienced, open Friday
LAWRENCEVILLE - Bob Gher is Lawrenceville High School's new baseball coach, but that's only technically speaking.

Gher, who had a tenure as the Indians' head coach through 2009, has spent the past four seasons as an assistant. This year he returns to the top spot, taking over for Josh Benefiel, whose team was 2-18 a year ago.

"I've come back with a new enthusiasm, but I really don't know why," said Gher, who is being assisted by Marc Sakowicz and Brian Cork. "We've had a really good two or three weeks practicing. We have fresh attitudes all the way around and we feel really good about things."

There are 24 players in the LHS program, most of whom are sophomores and freshmen.

"We are experienced, and that's the good news," Gher said. "But the experience we have is still young."

Seniors on the roster include Ryan Seed, Tanner Darnell and Brayden Hart, while juniors are Jeffrey Baxter, Austin DeLoriea, Thomas Mahrenholz, Bryce Weger and Zach Shoulders.

The large sophomore class includes Brady Benson, Brandt Cochran, Slayton Dorney, Harry Loeb, Jacob Seed, Jordan Shick, Dalton Sholders and Cody Steffey. Freshmen on the roster include Clay Goodwin, Seth Hatfield, Oliver Large, Chase Shick, Bryce Winningham, Hunter Stallings, Jordan Lockhart and Sam Hanson.

Gher says he has 10 players who are capable of pitching at the varsity level. He may need them all right away, as the team opens Friday at Flora, then has four games scheduled for next week.

Steffey and Shoulders may eat up the most innings, but Mahrenholz, Dorney, DeLoriea and Darnell have all pitched in the past. Benson, Goodwin, Hatfield and Weger will also toe the slab.

"We want them to throw strikes and work quick," he said. "We want them to let the defense do its job."

Speaking of defense, Gher says it's been a point of emphasis in the early practices, both in the LHS gym and at Ed Loeb Field.

"We've done a lot of infield work, taking grounders and stressing fundamentals," he said. "We've been working on the footwork, keeping the head down, all the cliches. I hope to see a better defensive team than we've had recently. We don't want the pitchers to feel like they have to strike everybody out, because we don't have the kind of pitchers who can strike people out."

Gher says the Indians will use the early games to try and find a standard lineup.

"If I had to turn in a lineup today, I don't think I could do it," he said. "We have a lot of people pushing each other here and there, which is good for a change."

Gher notes that Baxter led the team in RBI last season, and says Ryan Seed did a good job at the top of lineup.

"We've been working on situational hitting, moving guys over," he said. "We'll try to move guys around and play small ball. We've got to hit gap to gap. We don't have any power guys. If somebody hits one out, it's going to be a fluke. But we have a lot of line drive hitters which I'd rather have anyway."

The Indians' first home game is at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against Olney.

Lawrenceville schedule

March 21 Flora, 4:30 p.m.

March 25 OLNEY, 4:30 p.m.

March 27 MARTINSVILLE, 4:30 p.m.

March 29 PARIS (2), 10 a.m.

March 31 Clay City, 4:30 p.m.

April 1 Carmi, 4:30 p.m.

April 2 FAIRFIELD, 4:30 p.m.

April 3 CUMBERLAND, 4:30 p.m.

April 7 Red Hill, 4:30 p.m.

April 10 ROBINSON, 4:30 p.m.

April 12 CARMI, MT. CARMEL, 9 a.m.

April 14 Newton, 4:30 p.m.

April 17 CASEY, 4:30 p.m.

April 21 Marshall, 4:30 p.m.

April 23 Mt. Carmel, 4 p.m.

April 24 FLORA, 4:30 p.m.

April 28 Olney, 4:30 p.m.

May 1 Hutsonville, 4:30 p.m.

May 3 FLORA, 10 a.m.

May 6 LOUISVILLE-N. C., 4:30 p.m.

May 8 EDWARDS CO., 4:30 p.m.

May 9 MT. CARMEL, 4:15 p.m.

May 12 OBLONG, 4:30 p.m.

May 14 South Knox, Ind., 4:30 p.m.

May 15 RED HILL (2), 4:30 p.m.



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