Lynchburg-Clay’s Mustangs baseball team is looking to right the ship following a tumultuous 2017 season that saw the team earn the number 10 seed in the Sectional Tournament draw and lose to Piketon in the opening game.
Mustangs head coach Vince Pitzer has high expectations for his team this season including competing for the Southern Hills Athletic Conference title.
“We absolutely plan on competing for the league title this year. We were young last year, we only had two returning starters from the year before. Six or seven of my starting positions were sophomores and first year varsity kids. We played about as well as I thought we would last season, there were a couple of games that we didn’t field the ball very well and that cost us. I think that is where we will improve the most this year,” said Pitzer.
The Mustangs will again have only two seniors on the team. Regardless, Pitzer indicated he will be relying on them to provide leadership on and off the field.
“We have Blake Croy and Zack Proctor both started for us last year and we are expecting them both to be leaders for us in games and practices. A junior, Drew Pitzer, will also be relied on to provide leadership to the younger players. We have already had instances in practice where we asked them to step up and take care of things if players aren’t doing things right,” Pitzer said.
The Mustangs return all-league catcher Josh Wolfe and Pitzer expects that his game will expand from last season.
Coach Pitzer is entering his second season as the head coach of the Mustangs and he believes that the familiarity between himself and his players will be a boon to the team this year.
“Having a young team last year and this being my second year as the head coach I think our shared experience is going to be huge for us. Nerve wise, hitting wise and fielding wise I don’t think any of those jitters should be there. They know what to expect from me as a coach and I think we will get the job done,” said the Mustangs head coach.
The Mustangs will play all four of the other county schools this season and Pitzer is looking forward to those matchups.
“Hillsboro will probably be a different animal, this will be one of the first times these kids have had the opportunity to play each other in high school ball. That will be an interesting game to be a part of. When it comes to Whiteoak, we play them every year and it has been a close game each of the last three years. It has been really good baseball,” said the Mustangs coach.
Pitzer pinpointed fielding as a reason the team lost some of their games last season and he expects that to be where the community will see the biggest improvement this season.
“Our fielding needs to be the biggest improvement that we need to make. I think that if we can field on a consistent basis and clean up some of our other mistakes we will be right there at the top of the league this year,” said Pitzer.
The Mustangs coach made a point to invite the community to come out and see his team this season.
“We have a good group of kids that love the game. We are going to have an all-around good baseball team this year. We have a deep pitching staff and I don’t think hitting is going to be an issue. We have a lot of offensive ability and we will score a lot of runs. If the defense comes along I think we will be exciting to watch,” Pitzer said.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.