Prep Baseball: Season opens with battle of heavyweights
Washington County Preps Previews
Broadfording had two straight winning seasons until last year’s 0-16 record, a mark the Lions hope is long gone in the rear view mirror.
“We’re in a lot better shape this year than a year ago,” said coach Greg Haupt. “We got better at the end of the year. We had players that hadn’t played baseball before.”
Senior Trevor Snodderly, a catcher the past two years, will do a little of everything, including pitching, hoping to form a good tandem of arms along with junior Christian Kehr. Snodderly hit .395 last season with 10 RBIs.
“We want to play good fundamental baseball,” Haupt said. “Our goal is to get to .500 within the conference.”
There are plenty of big boppers in the Clear Spring camp and all will be in full force once outfielder Logan Appel fully recovers from a broken hand and gets into action at the end of the month.
The Blazers have about 20 home runs in experience returning from last year, including seven each from Appel (.517, 26 RBIs), catcher Dylan Stouffer (.485, 47 RBIs) and outfielder Jared Brandt .441, 18 RBIs).
“We’ve got power returning, but we have to get healthy,” coach Mark Shives said. “Every year we have an identity problem and this year we need guys to step up on the mound.”
That begins with returning right-hander Forrest Williamson (4-2, 2.90 ERA) and David Moser (2-1, 3.07).
Senior Ryan Aaron returns at second base, Dylan Appel will be back at short and C.J. Elwood will plays in different places.
Stouffer and Appel are returning first-team All-County stars to lead the Blazers, who were 13-7 last year and looking to return to the form that took them to the state tournament in 2010.
Head coach Justin Culbertson hopes his team can improve on a 4-8 record with junior Cole Helman leading the way as the No. 1 pitcher.
“He’ll play everywhere,” Culbertson said. “He turned into a good pitcher at the end of last year and he hit .400.”
Newcomer Matt Cole, a sophomore lefty, will be the No. 2 pitcher.
Culbertson is also looking for Harrison Barger, a big eighth-grader, to play first base and be an important part of the team.
Coach Brian Kerns has a few key players returning and he knows them all in his sleep.
Pitcher Hunter McKinley is in his fourth year, while pitcher Nate Souders and first baseman Tanner Manning are in their third and they’ll be the go-to guys.