The Hillsboro Indians varsity Baseball team and Head Coach Matt Garman are anticipating the start of the 2019 season and are looking to make noise in the Frontier Athletic Conference despite losing five players to graduation following the 2018 season.
The main reason the Indians are optimistic is the return of all of the starting pitchers from last season including Seniors Ethan Watson and Ethan Humphries and Junior Luke Magulac.
“We’ve got a lot of pitching back. We are real excited about the fact that we feel like we feel like we can be in every game we play,” said Garman. “Because our pitching staff will keep us in it.”
The Indians finished 14-12 overall last season and rattled off three consecutive tournament wins before falling to Circleville in Ahtens and Garman thinks that experience will be helpful for the returners this season.
“”Any time you make a tournament run I think just the experience of being there and being around it,” said Garman. “I always tell the guys there is nothing like do or die baseball.”
The experience that the team gained during it’s tournament run will be tempered by the fact that five of the key contributors on that team are no longer available.
“Yeah we have a lot of pitching back and yeah we have a lot of guys that can play,” Garman said. “But we also have a lot of guys that are going to have to cut their teeth defensively and we will see what they can do.”
The Indians face a tough opening week of the season but Garman thinks that is a good thing for his team, ” That is what we want. We want to be tested. I would attribute that solely to our success in the post season last year. Yes, we were 6-11 at one point in time last year but we played a really tough schedule.”
Garman also thinks that his team will fare better in close games this season, “We didn’t lose any games by a lot. We lost 12 games last year and 10 of those were by one or two runs so, we were in every game that we played. Being a little younger with the pitching staff and those guys just learning how to win made that one or two run difference in the games late in the year.”
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.