The Pettisville baseball team has some key pieces returning for the 2018 season.
“We hope to compete in every game we play,” said head coach Paul Bishop. “We have experience back which should help us in close ballgames.”
Leading the Blackbirds this year are junior Austin Horning, who was first team All-Buckeye Border Conference a season ago, and senior Dillon King, who was second team All-BBC.
Other returning letter winners are Landon Roth, Justin Rupp, Devin Beltz, Logan Rufenacht and Aaron Rupp.
Bishop likes the makeup of his team heading into the season.
“We have strong leadership from our seniors and juniors,” he said. “These seniors and juniors provide a strong nucleus to build around. Dillon King, Austin Horning, Landon Roth and Logan Rufenacht are four of our top five hitters from last year. Austin and Logan are two of our top three pitchers from last year.”
While they do have some quality pitchers returning, it never hurts to have as many options as possible.
“Pitching depth is always a concern,” explained Bishop. “We will need to have some guys step up to provide quality innings on the mound. We are also going to need some freshmen to step up to play on an everyday basis.”
The Blackbirds will have to replace Nate Hartzler, John Rufenacht, and Eli Norr. Hartzler held a .302 batting average while logging 35 innings on the mound last season. Norr is gone after batting .293 as a senior.
Pettisville welcomes North Central Thursday to begin the season.