Press-Republican

April 15, 2013

Panthers poised to defend titles


Press-Republican

---- — Editor’s note: Coaching forms from Minerva/Newcomb were not received by press time.



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Crown Point dominated the Mountain & Valley Athletic Conference baseball scene a season ago en route to winning the Division I championship and later adding the Section VII Class D title.

The Panthers return a good share of their starters from a season ago and are expected to be a major force again.

Indian Lake/Long Lake, which won in Division II, also returns a solid nucleus in its bid to repeat.

Division I

Chazy

The Eagles, who finished 11-3 last year, lost to Crown Point in the Section VII Class D championship game after winning the title the year before.

Chazy figures to be in the thick of things again with the return of seven starters, including its entire pitching staff in seniors Kyle Bisonette, Nathan Reynolds, Jacob Kennedy and Josh Peete.

Senior third baseman Craig Botten, shortstop Bisonette and junior second baseman Hayden Guay will give the Eagles experience in the infield. Reynolds, who will be in his fifth season of varsity baseball, provides talent and experience in the outfield.

Junior outfielder Alec LaPierre also returns as a starter, while senior outfielder Justin Roy started at times a year ago.

Newcomers who could start include sophomore infielder/outfielder Zach Brothers and junior first baseman Dylan Doran.

The biggest concern for Chazy, which expects to be solid offensively one through nine, is behind the plate where Peete, Bisonette and Reynolds will take turns depending on who is pitching.

Players lost

Austin Santor, Michael Ryba, Jordan Barriere.

Players returning

Kyle Bisonette, Nathan Reynolds, Jacob Kennedy, Craig Botten, Josh Peete, Justin Roy, Dylan Garrow, Hayden Guay, Alec LaPierre, Nick Averill.

Newcomers

Zach Brothers, Josh Barriere, Dylan Doran, Dustin Miller, Alex Duprey.

Crown Point

The Panthers (15-0) have the talent returning to defend their Division I and Section VII titles.

Crown Point brings back six starters from last year’s championship squad — senior catcher Mike DuShane, senior pitcher/infielder Dan Groshans, senior center fielder Jon Spaulding, junior pitcher/infielder Jaice Spring, junior pitcher/infielder Joe Foote and sophomore pitcher/infielder Robbie Macey.

Junior outfielder Jordan McIntosh also returns and is projected to start, along with two varsity newcomers — freshman infielder/pitcher Kolby Pertak and sophomore outfielder Luke Finamore.

The Panthers expect to be strong from one to nine in the lineup and are a faster team than a year ago.

Crown Point has to overcome the loss of Nathan Tabor and Tanner Macey, the team’s two top pitchers from a year ago. The Panthers have some inexperience in that area, but do have five pitchers with good potential.

Players lost

Nathan Tabor, Tanner Macey.

Players returning

Mike DuShane, Dan Groshans, Jon Spaulding, Jaice Spring, Joe Foote, Jordan McIntosh, Robbie Macey.

Newcomers

Ryan Worth, James Russell, Luke Finamore, Brendan Crowningshield, Chad Hay, Kolby Pertak, Judd DeBrobander.

Elizabethtown-Lewis

The Lions (7-8) were competitive with everyone a season ago, but lost nine players to graduation.

E’town-Lewis brings back four players from last year, with Austin Morris and Hugh Harwood being team leaders. Justin LaPier and Cody Gowdy also return to the varsity this season.

The Lions expect to be solid defensively.

E’town-Lewis figures it will be competitive with every team in the league if its pitching continues to develop.

Players lost

Hunter Mowery, Timmy LaRock, Nate Rock, Patrick Phillips, Brad Egglefield, Andy Mitchell, Joe Sullivan, Spencer Crowningshield, E.Z. Diemand.

Players returning

Austin Morris, Hugh Harwood, Justin LaPier, Cody Gowdy.

Newcomers

Zac Noka-Bailey, Dominic DeMuro, Noah Farrell, Colden Blades, Jerry Mitchell, Tyler Hart.

Westport

The Eagles were a young rebuilding team last season. And with graduation and a couple of players moving out of the district, Westport lost three-quarters of last year’s pitching staff.

The Eagles do return five starters in freshman infielder/pitcher Sam Napper, senior outfielder/pitcher Gabe Schrauf, junior infielder/pitcher Ryan Davis, junior infielder/outfielder/pitcher John Doyle and junior infielder/catcher Tyrell Tryon. Aaron Schrauf, a sophomore infielder, also returns to the varsity and will start.

Gabe Schrauf will provide strong leadership, while Napper will be counted on to be one of the team’s top pitchers. The five returning starters will be heavily counted on both offensively and defensively.

Sophomore Donald Westercamp, along with freshmen Dylan Limlaw and Thomas Mero, are projected as starters. Limlaw will be expected to help out on the mound.

Overcoming varsity inexperience is the biggest concern heading into the season.

Players lost

Ethan Markwica, Cooper Sayward, Domenic Banish, James Stone, Garrett Reynolds.

Players returning

Gabe Schrauf, Ryan Davis, John Doyle, Tyrell Tryon, Lloyd Staats, Aaron Schrauf, Sam Napper.

Newcomers

Dylan Limlaw, Thomas Mero, Donald Westercamp, Briar Christian, James Morricette.

Division II

Indian Lake/Long Lake

The Orange (8-4) won their division a season ago and will be a solid contender again with the return of seven starters.

Leading the way is senior pitcher/shortstop Colin Farrell, the team’s No. 1 pitcher a year ago who will be difficult to beat this year. Sophomore Henry Sandiford and senior Matt Moore are also in the pitching rotation, while senior Kyle Mc Murty will help out on the mound as a varsity newcomer.

Sandiford will play shortstop, Moore third base and Mc Murty first base when not pitching.

Other returning starters include senior catcher Kyle Douglas, senior outfielders Arthur Jennings and Taylor Wells, and sophomore second baseman Curtis Seaman. Junior Shane Short is also back as an outfielder/catcher.

Players lost

Sam Miller, Kevin Boya.

Players returning

Colin Farrell, Matt Moore, Kyle Douglas, Arthur Jennings, Taylor Wells, Shane Short, Henry Sandiford, Curtis Seaman.

Newcomers

Robert Miller, Kyle Mc Murty, Lance Gocke, Joey DeShaw, Chaitin Giessen, Vinnie Smith.

Johnsburg

The Jaguars went through a difficult season a year ago and will be counting on varsity newcomers to help the team become more successful.

However, the younger players don’t have varsity experience, so it will be up to the more experienced players to show leadership.

Seven players return, including seniors Nick Porter, Kaleb Parsons and Ethan Cooper, along with juniors Kyle LaBounty, James Ordway, Dylan Moore and Dillon Bradway.

There are eight first-year varsity players, including a senior, five sophomores and two freshmen.

Players lost

Dustin Keller, Liam Harrison, John Gahan, Taylor Ordway.

Players returning

Nick Porter, Kyle LaBounty, James Ordway, Dylan Moore, Dillon Bradway, Kaleb Parsons, Ethan Cooper.

Newcomers

Mark Cleveland, Moses Mulvey, Aidan Connelly, Brandon Tyrel, Zach Watson, Nate Prouty, Ty Berg, Shawn Nevins.

Keene

The Beavers return to a baseball program this season and have a young squad with no seniors on the roster.

Keene expects to be solid on defense, with the concern being able to score enough runs to be successful. The players have no varsity experience and expect to experience a learning curve.

Projected starters include junior pitcher/shortstop Gabe Warner, junior first baseman/pitcher/outfielder Maxx Sturges, sophomore third baseman Jesse Summo, sophomore catcher Warren Ashe, sophomore pitcher/first baseman Brandon Dumas, sophomore pitcher/shortstop Colton Venner and freshman infielder Justin Haverlick.

Player roster

Gabe Warner, Seok Jae Hong, Maxx Sturges, Jesse Summo, Warren Ashe, Inigo Azcona, Austin Brown, Brandon Dumas, Joshua Haberle, Harrison Joannette, Colton Venner, Caden Belisle, Justin Haverlick, Timothy Montez.

Wells

The Indians have the look of a contender with a solid roster returning that includes junior pitcher/first baseman/shortstop Seth Weaver, senior pitcher/first baseman Jake Earley and senior shortstop/pitcher Caleb Hayes.

Weaver recorded three pitching wins a year ago, batted .333 and led the team with 15 stolen bases. Earley, a standout pitcher before being injured last season, led Wells with a .371 batting average and stole 14 bases. Hayes paced the Indians in assists and batted .343, while hitting the Indians’ only home run.

Other returning starters include seniors Blaine Elmendorf, Seth Hutchins and James Hoffman, juniors Ben Brenan and Matt Michienzi, and sophomores Adrian Collado and Dave Foster.

Wells has strong pitching, good depth and good team speed.

Players lost

None.

Players returning

Ben Brenan, Adrian Collado, Levy Colson, Jake Earley, Blaine Elmendorf, Dave Foster, Caleb Hayes, James Hoffman, Seth Hutchins, Jared Jennings, Steve Mayer, Matt Michienzi, Seth Weaver.

Newcomers

Logan Hutchins, John Page, Tyler Peck.