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April 5, 2013

BASEBALL SEASON PREVIEW: New Jeff coach Ellis familiar with current Red Devils

Coach a stabilizing force for Jeffersonville

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE — EASTERN

The Musketeers (15-13 last year) bring back lots of veterans from their Class 2A sectional championship squad. Those veterans include seniors Shane Williams (P/SS), Jason Allen (2B), Kaleb Nicholson (P/CF) and Jacob Hornung (1B) and juniors Dustyn Miller (P/SS), Cody Shepherd (C) and Brayton Brading (3B/P).

Coach Mike McBride thinks this year’s team can contend for the MSC and 2A sectional crowns. But he expects the conference race to be tough, with Silver Creek, Corydon Central, North Harrison and Brownstown Central as serious title contenders.

“Pitching and defense will be strengths this year. Hitting is an area of concern. We must hit for average and move runners,” McBride said. “We hope to compete for a conference title and are pursuing another sectional title.”

FLOYD CENTRAL

With a veteran lineup, the Highlanders (15-12 in 2012) have their sights on capturing both the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament and Class 4A sectional titles this season.

Six seniors are Floyd Central’s foundation in Jacob Snodgrass (2B), Connor Curry (SS), Cody Sunderhaus (OF/P), Derek DeSpain (OF), Kyle Neafus (OF) and Kyle Sipes (P). Sophomore Colton Kimm (3B/P) is expected to play a key role for the Highlanders as well.

“We have high hopes for this team. We look forward to competing for a conference and sectional title,” Floyd Central coach Casey LaDuke said. “Our sectional will be loaded with talent. I feel that New Albany and Jeffersonville will be the top teams to compete against. But ourselves and Seymour will have very good teams also.”

HENRYVILLE

Coach Jeff Schroeder says his seniors must perform at a high level if the Hornets (14-13 last year) are to have a successful season. Those seniors are Cody Reister (P/C/SS), Dakota Harrell (3B/P), Bailey Hall (1B/P) and Dylan Collins (OF).

Schroeder also is looking for contributions from junior Tyler Pace (OF), sophomores Dylan Cissell (1B/DH) and Austin Bowles (OF) and freshmen Cody McAfee (C) and Elijah Weeks (IF).

“My expectations are always pretty high,” Schroeder said. “We should approach every game as if it is winnable. Saying that and getting the players to do it are two different things. I don’t like to lose. More of our players need to develop that attitude, because right now many of our guys are soft. In order for us to win our conference and play well in the state tournament, we have to get mentally tougher as a team.”

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