CRESTLINE — Steve Garberich is heading into his fifth season as the head coach of the Crestline Bulldogs baseball team. In his first four years, he has seen his share of ups and downs, owning an overall record of 39-60 while going 7-18 last season.
“We look to to battle for a league title and make some noise in the tournament,” he said.
The Bulldogs return nearly all of their starters from last season to make that run a possibility after losing just one starter to graduation.
In the infield, JR Wolfe returns for his senior season after earning first-team district and All-Ohio honorable-mention honors last season at shortstop and on the mound. At the corners, Tyler Knetter will be back at first base and Zac Hatfield will be at third. Both Knetter and Hatfield will see time on the pitching staff. Rounding out the infield are junior Bailey Wollard at second base and Ty Clark at catcher. Clark may also see some time at first.
Chandler Gaskill earned district honorable-mention honors last season and will be playing in his final season for the Bulldogs in right field, and on the mound. Another senior, JC Clark will take to center field and junior Kevin Winkler will we in left field.
“One of our strengths is the fact that we’re returning eight starters and they will be pushed by some great, young talent,” said Garberich. “We also possess a lot of speed across the roster.”
The young talent Garberich is referring to comes in the form of a sophomore and three freshmen.
Dillon Foltz, a sophomore, will likely be playing for a spot at first base and also could be a pitcher. Logan and Kaden Ronk are utility-player and pitching prospects as freshmen. Gavin Loftis is also a freshmen and that can play virtually anywhere and could see time on the mound.
“Our players need to continue to refine their understanding of the game, accept their given roles and continue to improve on their defense,” Garberich said.
As for as a league outlook, look for Loudonville and Danville to battle atop the Mid-Buckeye Conference.
The 2017 season will officially begin for the Crestline Bulldogs baseball squad on Saturday, March 25 when they travel to Northmor for a doubleheader with the Golden Knights. League play starts Monday, March 27, at home, against the St. Peter’s Spartans.
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