Paul Bishop, returning for his 16th season as head coach of the Pettisville baseball team, said, “our team has been working hard and has been showing improvement every day in practice.
“We have a few more athletes out this year, which will help us be more competitive.”
Back are seniors Josh Horning, who was named honorable mention-All Buckeye Border Conference as a sophomore, Brayden Barrett, Jake King, and Nate Keim; and juniors Gideon Myers, Josh Basselman, Nate Rupp, and Josh Norr.
“We have a solid group of seniors returning with two years of experience,” said Bishop.
“Josh Horning will be our top pitcher, and is a very good centerfielder who can cover a lot of ground and has a strong arm.
“Our catching position should be a strength as well. Brayden Barrett, catching since his freshman year, is back and will provide solid defense behind the plate.
“Nate Keim (first base/ pitcher) and Jake King (infield) provide solid leadership and stability in the infield. They have really started to help mentor the younger, less experienced athletes.
“Josh Norr (shortstop/ pitcher) will bring good range, a strong arm and a steady glove to the shortstop position.
“Gideon Myers (infield), Josh Basselman (infield), and Nate Rupp (outfield) are all returning as well. They have all improved and will provide us with some flexibility to move guys around wherever they are needed in the field.
“Pitching depth will need to be an area of major growth for us this year. Josh Horning, 32 innings pitched, and Nate Keim, 12 innings pitched, are our top two pitchers back.
“We will need to have Josh Norr, Gideon Myers and Josh Basselman (juniors) step up to provide quality innings on the mound.
“Overall experience will also be a factor. Having lost all of last year’s spring and summer seasons, our juniors haven’……………t had a lot of varsity experience.”
Bishop looks to Montpelier and Edon to be at the top of the BBC this year.
“With our top pitcher out to start the season, we will look to get our less-experienced pitchers valuable time on the mound to help us later in the season,” said Bishop.
Assisting with coaching duties is John Horning.
Pettisville is scheduled to open its season Tuesday, March 30, with a Buckeye Border Conference contest at North Central.