Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Baseball starts practice, hope snow subsides

Photographer | March 6, 2024 2:00 AM

Baseball was the first spring sport to kickoff practices with tryouts on Monday. Coach Chad Green noted that the program will work its way to about 25 players between the JV and varsity teams. Players have been working all winter during open gyms in preparation for the upcoming season. 

With five graduated from last year’s team, there are a lot of returning players. Standouts include pitcher Kellen Kroger, who threw a no-hitter last year against the state champion Polson Pirates alongside shortstop Reggie Sapa and All-State returning player Cody Schweikert on first base. The freshman class brings Jory Hill and Jett Pitts, “freshmen that don’t play like freshmen.”

Last year the team lost out on going to the state tournament in a tie-breaker to Eureka. The goal this year is to get there. Practices now are just getting the kids into shape, making sure their arms aren’t tired and working in the batting cage. 

“Right now, we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. Our field has some huge drifts,” Green said. “So we’ll get the work done we can in [the gym] but we can’t really simulate being outside.”

Last season, the players were not able to get outside before their first game. Green hoped this would not be the case this year. The first game of the season is March 16 in Hamilton. Green said Hamilton may be at a slight advantage with less snow on their field. Later in the season there will be more opportunities to watch some home games.