Despite having a fairly young team, Delta baseball coach Damon Mattimore likes the attitude of his young Panthers heading into the 2017 campaign.
“This team showed good signs last summer during our ACME season and in the State ACME Tourney,” said coach Mattimore. “We are committed to never be satisfied, and to work together as a team.”
Returning for the Panthers are Gabe Freeman (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Travis Barnes, Owen Jagodzinski, Justin Anderson, Chris Brick, Jason Beverly, Jesse Beverly and Robby Arredondo.
“We have a real young group, experience wise, of varsity baseball players this year, but they have played a lot of baseball,” stated Mattimore on the strengths of his squad. “They are very coachable and they want to prove they can compete at the varsity level.”
However, they will have to replace a pair of all-league performers in Aaron Abbott who was second team All-NWOAL and Austin Sayen who was honorable mention. Others lost to graduation were Blake Gladieux, Ron Vargyas, Tim Sonick, Marc Callahan, Evan Vasquez and Beau Clausen.
Newcomers to varsity action will be Cole Mattin, Colin Rouleau, Travis Dunning and Gavin Bowerman.
“Our team offensively will be unproven,” said Mattimore on the weaknesses of his team. “We are learning how to grind at bats out and get into hitting counts. We also have to be better defensively in key situations in the field.”
The skipper expects another tight race for the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title.
“The NWOAL continues to be one of the strongest leagues in the area,” said Mattimore. “We feel Bryan is the league favorite until someone is able to take the title away from them. With Archbold, Wauseon, Swanton, Patrick Henry, Evergreen, Liberty Center always competing with each other in our league, we feel that we will have to compete night in and night out to be in the top tier of the NWOAL.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010