Most area high school baseball teams are taking this week off for spring break before returning to continue the 2012 season next week.
The 46th annual state tournament begins on the local level with sectionals that are slated for May 24-28. Two-game regionals are scheduled for Saturday, June 2 and one-game semistates on Saturday, June 9. The state finals are set for Saturday, June 16 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
The local Class 4A sectional site is Elkhart Memorial. Other teams are Concord, Elkhart Central, Goshen, Northridge and Warsaw. The area 3A venue is Wawasee. Joining the host Warriors are Fairfield, Lakeland, NorthWood, Tippecanoe Valley and West Noble. Westview is paired with Bremen, Central Noble, Fremont and Prairie Heights in the 2A field at LaVille. The local 1A sectional is at Fort Wayne Canterbury. Bethany Christian, Elkhart Christian Academy, Fort Wayne Blackhawk, Hamilton, Howe School and Lakewood Park Christian are other schools.
The sectional draw is Tuesday, May 15.
Following are capsule previews on area teams.
Coach: Brent Reinhardt, 15th season (101-240 in 14).
Assistant Coaches: Steve Slagel, Nick Vandermolen.
2011 Record: 4-16.
Graduation losses: Ben Bontreger, James Helmuth, Russell Klassen, Kyle Miller, Scott Weaver.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — c-if Jared Miller (.245 BA), p-of Josh Plank, if Peter Schrock, 1b-p Andy Slagel (.320 BA). Juniors — p-if-of Ike Lehman, p-of Jesse Loewen.
Other varsity candidates: Seniors — c AJ Newcomer, 2b-ss Jeremy Troyer, 2b Cody Yoder. Sophomores — of Jordan Glasgow, p-of Dylan Slabach, Freshmen — 2b-of Ryan Duckworth, 3b Jordan Haarer, 2b-ss-p Ethan Miller, if Young Kwang Sun.
Comments: “The middle of our order could provide some pop,” coach Reinhardt said. “We could score some runs if we get someone to set the tables for the heart of the order. We are physically bigger than most teams we’ve had at Bethany. Our pitching is untested. We lost most of our innings and all our wins from last year. Newcomer is a nice addition to the team. He has gap power and has nice catch and release times to second. Slagel has batted over .300 the past two seasons. A couple of freshmen will push the older players for playing time.”
Coach: Jim Treadway, 1st season.
Assistant Coaches: Jim DeFreese, Sean Sears, Bart McClane, Andy Namisnak.
2011 Record: 16-11 (3-11 NLC).
Graduation losses: Joe Adams, Wes Curton, Logan Draus, Beau Dries, Drake Fisher, Chris Makin, Steve Reed, Josh Schuller, Derrick Simmons, Alex Stiver.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — p-of Seth Huxford, ss Nick Wysong. Juniors — 1b-p Cain Crowley, 2b-ss Taylor Miller, of-p Connor Slabach. Sophomore — 3b-p Nick DeFreese.
Other varsity candidates: Seniors — of Rob Frutig, of-p Preston Miller, of Lorenzo Rodriguez. Juniors — p-of Jordan Beck, of Mason Eldridge, utility Matt Kotva, of-p Dallas Maynard, c Dakota Simon, p-1b Jake Stauffer, c Tyler Wilson. Sophomores — of Duncan Boone, 3b-p Nick DeFreese, p-if Erich Grimske, 1b-p Brett Neveraski, p-3b Stephen Pinarski.
Comments: “We have great experience in the six returning letterwinners, very good depth and great team chemistry,” coach Treadway said. “The team has been working very hard to adjust to the new BBCOR bat and have set some very lofty goals.”
Coach: Steve Stutsman, 18th season (217-235-9 in 17).
Assistant Coaches: Steve Asbury, Lonnie Weatherholt, Ben Taylor, Chad O’Brien, Chad Bates, Tom Hill.
2011 Record: 23-6 (12-4 NIC).
Graduation losses: Joey Dobson, Cody Hilligoss, Conner Lahndorf, Eric Smith, Pat Smith.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — 1b Jack Bernacchi (.264 BA, 19 RBI), of-p Ronnie Hawkins (.354 BA, 20 RBI), c Adam Raifsnider (.398 BA, 8 HRs, 33 RBI), c Carson Volheim (10 doubles, 19 RBI). Juniors — of Matt Eppers (.318 BA, 16 RBI), p-1b Riley Futterknecht (4 wins, 54 strikeouts in 49 innings, 3.12 ERA), 3b-p Cory Malcom (17 runs, 17 RBI), ss Austin McArt, of-p Tanner Tully (.419 BA, 10 doubles, 9 triples, 9 HRs, 37 runs, 38 RBI, 10 wins, 77 strikeouts in 66 innings, 1.09 ERA).
Other varsity candidates: Juniors — of Caleb DeFreese, 2b Nick Faus, ss-2b Casey Ianigro, 1b-of Mike Namisnak, 2b Nick Ponce, 3b-p-c Devin Prater.
Comments: “We had a successful season last year and only lost two players to graduation that played a lot,” coach Stutsman said. “This team will have to create good chemistry and work ethic to reach its goals for the season.”
Coach: Chris Lemert, 4th season (31-29 in 3).
Assistant Coaches: Fred Stayton, Caleb Hartman, Dylan Lemert, Nathaniel Hasse.
2011 Record: 10-12.
Graduation losses: Austin Curtis, Nathaniel Hasse.
Returning letterwinners: Senior — if Dalton Lemert. Juniors — if Samuel Hasse, p Brad Hayes, if Caleb Stayton. Sophomores — of Jon Anderson, of Jaxson Moore, c Tanner Watson, if Kyle Zuber.
Other varsity candidates: Senior — c Jason Elbert. Junior — of Tyler VanArsdale. Freshmen — if Noah Buck, if Josh Kelly, if Jon Kitner, of Andrew Metz, if Drew Overmeyer.
Coach: Scott Rost, 10th season (172-94 in 9).
Assistant Coaches: Rick Fiene, Jake Scholfield, Brian Blondell, Doug Keck, Scott Asbury, Sean Doering, Bruce Baer.
2011 Record: 14-15 (9-5 in NLC).
Graduation losses: Ben Brewers, Jordan Hinton, Cam Hostetler, Dustin Mills, Brad Poertner, Ty Rody, Brad VanGalen, Seth VanGalen, Brady Weaver, Adam Williams.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — ss Alex Brewers (.321 BA, 24 runs, 17 SB), p-1b-3b Bobby Brewers, p-1b Parker Devenney (.333 BA, 3 HRs, 21 RBI), p-2b-of Justin Oley. Juniors — c Robert Asbury.
Other varsity candidates: Seniors — p Steve Graber, of Joe Santerre. Juniors — of Trey Solomon. Sophomores — p-if Brock Herman, p-of Noah Pawlak, if Myles Rosenberg, p-of Jacob Tucker, of Nathan Troutman. Freshmen — 2b-c Daniel Asbury, p-if Scottie Clark.
Comments: “We have a good mix of experience and youth,” coach Rost said. “This group is extremely coach able and I believe we will see constant improvement as the season progresses. We should be solid up the middle defensively.”
Coach: Brodie Garber, 11th season (186-91 in 10).
Assistant Coaches: Troy Sands, Darin Kauffman, Keeton Zartman, Derick Troeger.
2011 Record: 18-6 (10-0 in NECC).
Graduation losses: Jordan Bontrager, Darin Hochstetler, Derek Smallwood, Eric Smoker, Jerad Stump.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — 3b Riley Miller, 2b-ss David Mohney, 3b-ss-p Brad Newcomer (.398 BA), 1b-c Zach Newcomer (.338 BA), of Dustin Smallwood, 1b Pierce Zent. Juniors —ss-3b-p Jordan Hochstetler (.368 BA) p-1b Brad Lantz, p-of Garrett Scott (6-1 record).
Other varsity candidates: Senior — Wilbur Yoder. Junior — 2b Preston Yoder. Sophomores — of-p Austin Christner, ss-2b Forrest Glogouski, of-p Ben Hunley, of Zack Kropf, c Tony Zook.
Comments: “We have a decent amount of experience returning on the mound this year that we will rely on,” coach Garber said. “The NECC will be very competitive this year, we will have our hands full trying to defend our back-to-back league championships.”
Coach: Mike Stout, 25th season (384-291-5 in 24).
Assistant Coaches: Dave Pontius, David Rider, Darin Mast.
2011 Record: 17-7 (11-3 in NSC).
Graduation losses: Matt Hill, Chad Housman, Zach Myers, Mike Reiner, C.J. Stone.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — p-ss-2b Justin Brown, p-of Dustin Chafin, ss-2b Corleone Desimone, 1b-p Cameron Kois, 3b-p Brandon Weinkauf. Juniors — of-p Evan Oblinger, p-1b Augustin Rubalcava.
Other varsity candidates: Senior — 2b-of Tyler Higginson. Juniors — c Alec Brown, p-of Maison Bueter, of Michael Hobbs, ss-2b-3b Brandon Kay, of-2b Bronson Metcalf, of Cole Peterson.
Coach: Andrew Brabender, 5th season (80-30 in 4).
Assistant Coaches: Dyrk Miller, James Greensides, Joel Sienicki, Mike Summy.
2011 Record: 16-13 (13-1 NLC).
Graduation losses: Daimon Buck, Dominic DeVito, Drew Hunsberger, Charlie Ottinger, Garrett Yoder.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — p-if Jordan Carithers, p-if T.J. Miller, of Austin Summy, p-if Kyle Yoder. Juniors — of Alan Grusy, p-if Brock Logan, p-of Austin Moniot, p-if Blake Summy.
Other varsity candidates: Juniors — p-if Eric Beck, of Levi Benton, of-c Drew Burgess, p-if Arick Doberenz. Sophomores — p-if Shannon Baker, p-of Craig Kaston, p-if-of Sam Stahley.
Coach: Zach Benko, 2nd season (14-11 in 1).
Assistant Coaches: Matt Cox, Todd Cleveland, Jay Sheets, Tom Lane.
2011 Record: 14-11 (5-9 NLC).
Graduation losses: Zach Manring, Justin Miller, Cole Page, Cory Snyder, Brennan Yoder, Derek Yoder.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — of Ryan Gerber, utility-p Tanner Roberts (over .300 BA), 1b-of Nate Wagner. Sophomores — if-p-c Blake Cleveland (over .300 BA), if-p-c Will Kirkwood (over .300 BA), utility Brock Spitaels.
Other varsity candidates: Juniors — p-c-of Gino Chumas, p-1b Chad Ervin, if-p Tommy Klem, of Taylor Wegmiller. Sophomores — if-of Tanner Farmwald, if Hunter Lane. Kyle McCoy.
Coach: John Blunk, 19th season (141-191 in 18).
Assistant Coaches: Kent Doty, Brent Berkeypile, Ed Waltz, Vince Rhodes.
2011 Record: 8-15 (4-10 in NLC).
Graduation losses: Aaron Beer, Cody Blunk, Houston Rodes, Nate Schwartz, Cody Thomas, Drew Voirol, Dylan Wallace.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — utility Joe Bohnstedt, of-p John Beer, p Joe Fleagle, of Andrew Hepler, Si Shear. Juniors — c Charlie Bird, if-p Isaac Rigdon, if-p Derrick Sorensen. Sophomores — p Gage Fannin, if-p Nate Hare, of-p Andrew Milligan, if Patrick Navarro, of Gabe Rhodes, of Austin Yoder.
Coach: Jason Rahn, 1st season.
Assistant Coaches: Rick Yoder, Mark Engle, Jerry Christner.
2011 Record: 14-17 (4-6 NECC).
Graduation loss: Zac Mishler.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — of Jared Berkey, p-if Adrian Brandenberger, p Michael Hicks, 1b Luke Miller, 3b-p Austin Schlabach, c Darren Stillson, of-p Brant Yoder (.324 BA). Junior — 1b Damon Miller. Sophomores — ss-p Tarrin Beachy (.309 BA), of-p Hunter Christner, c Kohle Christner, p-if Jamar Weaver (.350 BA), of-p Judah Zickafoose (.402 BA).
Other varsity candidates: Junior — Jeremy Hochstetler. Sophomores — Cody Criswell, Paul Housh, Freshmen — if Jacob Berkey, Lucas Hunter, of-p Jamin Lambright, Jordan Stoltzfus, John Yoder.
Comments: “We are looking forward to the season,” coach Rahn said. “We have a lot of experience returning. We have a senior and sophomore lead team. Our record was down last season, but a couple of key injuries to Mishler and Yoder caused them to miss a significant amount of time.”
Coach: Doug Brown, 1st season.
Assistant Coaches: Dave Shields, Wes Weimer, Aaron Coy.
2011 Record: 6-16 (3-7 NECC)
Graduation losses: Ted Fulk, Kyle Halderman, Dirk Ormsby, Austin Pensinger, Jake Rupright.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — c Korey Kendall (.250 BA, 2 HRs), of Bo Lutton. Juniors — ss-p Cy Mikel (.328 BA, 5 doubles, 11 strikeouts in 13 innings), p Nick Noe (26 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings), 1b-p Nick Thomas.
Other varsity candidates: Seniors — of Skylar Campbell, 2b-ss Kevin Marsh, of Zack Rupright. Juniors — of-3b Austin Frain, 3b Jesus Luevano. Sophomores — of Alexander Alcala, ss Kyler Bolen, 1b-3b Josh Chupp, Devon Halderman, of-p Landon Stover. Freshmen — c-of Sean Bush, 2b-of Brandon Craft, 1b Alex Lopez, c Pancho Luevano, 2b-of Riley McFarren, 3b-c Brandon Moser, 3b-p Levi Nelson, of Petey Pizana, ss-p Waylon Richardson, 3b-of Zach Spencer, c-p Kyler Warble.
Comments: “We have a young and inexperienced team,” coach Brown said. “They have put in a lot of time and effort to make themselves better but there is no substitute for game experience. Our seniors have done a great job of leading by example. We have a talented freshmen group and some of them are probably good enough to see some varsity time before the end of the season.”
Most area high school baseball teams are taking this week off for spring break before returning to continue the 2012 season next week.
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