High School Sports

High School Baseball: Bald Eagle Area preview

Coach: Jim Gardner (13th season)

Assistants: Doug Womer, Ryan MacNamara, John Jones, Andy Bucha, Dave Jones, Mike Thompson

Last year: 9-11

Key players lost: Jeff Koleno

Key returnees: Dylan Womer, Logan Reese, Gage Gardner, Jon Romine, Cole Long, Ben Verbitskey, Ryan Dyke, Bryan Greene, Bryce Greene, Nate Cleaver

Key newcomers: Tyler Schall, Jeff Bennet, Otis Statham, Jordan Kobularcik, Cullen Hamilton

The skinny: Last season, a young Bald Eagle squad made its way into the playoffs but lost in extra innings. This season, Gardner’s group returns with some experience. The pitching rotation returns in tact. In his 13th season, Gardner seems more concerned with his team’s mental preparation rather than the team’s collective skill level. He’s hoping a difficult schedule will prepare the Eagles for the post season.

Coach Gardner says: “With eight returning starters and our entire pitching staff coming back; we look to have a great year. We will be very athletic all over the field with a strong bench containing talented role players. Again this year we have taken on as tough a schedule as we can with hopes it will raise our level of play in preparation for playoffs. Our goal is to battle through the schedule and still secure a high playoff seed. This group has demonstrated that they can be very successful. It’s important that we respect each and every opponent and prepare mentally as well as physically every day.