March 25, 2010
Lady Tigers Drop Conference Opener to Clark County
Tigers Diamond Debut Delayed by Mother Nature
Just days after the remnants of the latest snowstorm disappeared in northeast Missouri, the region’s newest baseball team is set to take the field for the first time.
The Scotland County R-I program will make its debut March 23rd in Canton, if Mother Nature cooperates. The season opener for the Tigers had been scheduled for March 22nd in Memphis, but the double header versus Highland was canceled due to the weather.
The inaugural SCR-I baseball team consists of 15 players. The squad is relatively young, with just two seniors. Upperclassmen Justin Winn and Trever Harris will be in the team’s outfield rotation according to coach T.J. Young. They will be joined in the outfield by Zach Miller, Logan Payne, Rod Sears and Andrew Humes.
“Early on our lineups are still pretty tentative, with a lot of these kids seeing time at a variety of positions,” Young said.
With just 15 players, Young said he will have to be creative with the lineups in an effort to ensure not to exceed usage limits while trying to field a team for both junior varsity and varsity contests.
“I let the kids and the parents know at the pre-season meeting, that all of the varsity players are going to have to rotate down and play a couple junior varsity games as well,” Young said. “That way we can make sure we can play a full schedule and get everyone the playing time we are going to need to get better.”
A limited schedule will allow SCR-I to accomplish that with just 16 games and one tourney scheduled. Taking into account the likelihood of a few games lost to the weather, the program should easily be able to remain under player limits of 20 games and one tournament.
Young noted the big challenge will be pitching, which faces usage limits to insure player health.
“We won’t be using any of our three varsity pitchers in junior varsity action,” Young said. “So we are going to have to identify some other pitchers.”
The coach noted the process could benefit SCR-I, as it will get everyone the opportunity to try to throw strikes and help the team, with the possibility of identifying another hurler or two that can help at the varsity level down the road.
Young indicated that Ben Shannan, Harely Stone and Dakota Wells will likely see the bulk of the time on the mound for the varsity squad.
Sabe Sears may also pitch some at both levels for the Tigers, along with Humes.
Shannan, Stone and Wells all will see time on the infield when not pitching. They will be joined by Brock Bondurant, and Drew Miller.
Miller will also see time at catcher along with Sabe Sears. The later will fill a super utility role for the team, with the possibility of playing all nine positions. Andrew Mathes will see a similar role, likely getting playing time in both the infield and outfield.
“Those guys are talented enough to play where ever I need them,” Young said.
Christian Bradley and Cody Avery will see action both in the infield and outfield as well.
“We are definitely a work in progress, but I’ve already seen a lot of improvement just from the summer, when a lot of this kids played together on the Legion team,” Young said.
Despite the squad’s inexperience, the coach noted the team has its strengths that should allow it to win some games this year.
“We can play, we are just inconsistent at this point,” said Young. “The kids are really excited about the opportunity to be the school’s first baseball team and the buzz that goes along with that.”
With the rain out on March 22nd, the team’s home opener will now be Tuesday, April 6th when SCR-I hosts Linn County in a varsity, junior varsity double-header set to start at 5:00 p.m.