NORTH ROBINSON — With the ground starting to thaw and hopefully staying that way, baseball is underway at Colonel Crawford High School.
Joe Swartzmiller will once again be the head coach for the Eagles squad, now in his 11th season. Crawford will be looking to improve on their 13-12 overall and 8-8 record in the Northern-10 Athletic Conference a year ago.
The Eagles will have to do so without key players Derek Burkhart and Isaac Sulser. However, two of the top hitters from the conference last season will be back for their senior season this spring.
Kaden Schell finished the 2016 season with a .463 batting average, good for third in the conference. Schell is an outfielder for the Eagles and was also second in the conference with 25 stolen bases. Jake Johnson will also be back after hitting .413 last season, good for sixth overall in the N-10. Johnson also stole 19 bases, good for seventh. Another big bat returning for the Eagles will be senior outfielder and pitcher, Blake Treisch. Treisch was second in the conference with three home runs last year.
Other returning Eagles on the varsity roster this season are: Seniors Ethan Studer (OF/P), Cameron Spangler (3rd base/P), Nick Gremling (C/OF/P), Noah Thoman (IF/P) (fourth in Earned Run Average in N-10 in ‘16, 1.60) and Devin Starlin (OF); Juniors Cameron Smith (1st base) and Spencer Mutchler (1st base/P).
Gavin Feichtner, a catcher/pitcher/infielder hybrid, is the only freshmen listed on the roster for the Colonel Crawford Eagles.
“Pitching and depth are two of our major concerns as a team,” says Swartzmiller.
After the fifth place finish last season, the Crawford coach says that, “Seneca East, Wynford and Carey are the early favorites in the league.” Wynford and Seneca East finished one and two respectively in the N-10 a year ago and Carey found themselves near the bottom or the cellar of the conference.
The regular season kicks off for the Eagles at home on Sat. March 25, at home, when they host the Willard Crimson Flashes for a double-header. League action will begin for Colonel Crawford on Wed. March 29 against the Carey Blue Devils, also at home.
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