The Pioneers (14-13 in 2012) are looking to improve from last season as well with a veteran roster.
Coach Scott Hornung’s key returning players are seniors Justin Starr (OF), Andrew Hunt (OF) and Nick Campbell (C) and junior Ben Shahroudi (SS). Also expected to be key players for Providence are seniors Cristian Ensley (2B), George Knott (1B), Ben Katchur (3B), Jon Davis (P), Aaron Patterson (OF).
“Our expectations are to improve from last year when most of these players were playing their first year of varsity ball,” Hornung said. “They should feel much more comfortable in their roles this year, which in turn should produce a successful season. We were not a very good hitting team last year. But early on in spring training, it looks as if that should be an improved part of our game.”
The Pioneers’ schedule will test them with games against Jeff, New Albany, Floyd Central, Silver Creek, Louisville St. Xavier, Muncie Central and Columbus East.
ROCK CREEK ACADEMY
The Lions will rely on senior Evan White and juniors Jeremiah Wilkinson and Jake Cundiff to lead them this season. White will play at shortstop and third base, Wilkinson will be an infielder, and Cundiff will be a catcher, shortstop and third baseman. All three will pitch.
“Last year, even though we didn’t the jumps we want to make, we saw some improvement,” Rock Creek coach Brady Chitwood said. “We scored more runs. But our pitching killed us.”
The Dragons (24-10 last year) welcome back several players from last year’s Class 3A sectional title squad. Those players include seniors Jamie Valvano (1B), Lucas Barnett (P/SS) and Layne Taylor (CF) and juniors Shae Durham (SS) and Brooks Howell (P/OF).
Coach Joe Decker also is looking for production from juniors Brayden Ware (2B) and Zach Spaulding (C), sophomore Cameron Cook (3B/P) and freshman Cody Razer (OF).
Silver Creek faces a tough schedule that includes Jeff, New Albany, Jasper and Madison.
“If we can gel together, we could be very good by the end of the season,” Decker said. “We need some guys to gain some varsity experience.”
Note: Information on Borden could not be obtained at press time. Borden coach Brian Agnew could not be reached for comment for this story.