The Hillsboro Indians baseball team is looking forward to a good season this year after graduating seven seniors and only three of them starters. The Indians’ goals are simple: 15+ wins and finish the season strong, win the South Central Ohio League, make a tournament run and return to Athens. They plan on doing so this year with a strong pitching staff.
“Our pitching staff is our strong point,” seventh year head coach Tim Hunt said. “The entire rotation is back from last year led by Jacob Helterbrand (sr.), Jesse Walker (sr.) and junior, Cayse Cameron. In addition, we have a talented group to assume the middle relief and weekend/non-league pitching roles. We also, have been very happy with our defense, especially the infield play, during our scrimmages. Offensively, the kids are doing a much better job. They are putting the ball in play more consistently and doing a great job of putting pressure on the defense with our base running. Thus far we’ve been satisfied with our kid’s performance in our scrimmages.
“Our seniors this year are DJ Brown, Wyatt Condo, Jacob Deatley, Ryan Hagan, Jacob Helterbrand and Jesse Walker. They have shown a lot of growth over their career with us; both as players and people. They have done a great job in assuming the leadership role and are looking forward to a strong year.”
Coach Hunt believe his team will have a strong schedule this season to better help them prepare for their tournament run, and that strong schedule will start at their first game.
“We have a great test to start off the season with Batavia and a team we could see in the tournament, Fairfield Union. In addition to those two teams, the rest of our non-conference schedule (Anderson, Little Miami, Western Brown, Adena, Unioto, Milford, Fayetteville, Goshen and Blanchester) and our league games will give us the opportunity to play strong teams that will prepare us for the tournament.
“In the league, I believe that we have the roster to win the SCOL. Just like last year though, it’ll be a fight night in and night out between our league teams. Wilmington has pitching, Washington is returning a great group of seniors, and Miami Trace and Clinton Massie are always at the top of the standings. We have to jump out to a good start like we did last year, but we have to find a way to finish strong and avoid a late season collapse like we experienced last year. I firmly believe that with this group, because of their excitement and drive and the fact that they truly care for each other, we can avoid that.
“Overall, we’re extremely excited to get the season underway and we think that this will be an exciting team to watch. We encourage everyone in the community to pack the park!”
The Indians will start their season against Batavia and Fairfield Union in a double header this Saturday, March 26 starting at 10 a.m.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.