It's hard to think about baseball with snow drifts and more snow in the forecast, but we'll try our best to give you a glimpse of the spring. Many teams haven’t even had an outdoor practice yet, which makes it hard but to hold you over we’ll serve up our first edition of Varsity Sports Now Power Rankings.
ND Class A
Last season Davies went 26-12 and took third in the state in just their third year of eligibility. Manager Hans Anderson has this team tagged as the favorites entering their fourth season,
" We need to be more consistent offensively to take some of the pressure off our defensive and pitchers. If we throw strikes and play solid defense we should be in every ball game," said Anderson.
Ryan Smith is the heart of the Davies defense and offense, he hit .379 last year and is one of the best players in the state. Casey Quinlan gives the Eagles confidence at the top of the rotation with a fastball, curve and change as he hits the 80's consistently. He is hands down the best pitcher in the state. Returning starters: Gunnar Linstaedt, Ryan Smith, Casey Quinlan, Cayden Barta, Eric Peterson, Andrew Beyer, Brock Horner.
Returning players with varsity experience: Tristan Hartness, Aidan Hartness, Bryton Buth.
Jim Patton takes over the helm for the Demons and he's got a seasoned squad to do it with. After two losses in the state tournament last year the Demons feel they have what it takes to bounce back. Nathan Dinga leads a strong pitching staff. Seniors Parker Oswald, Tanner Bittner, Josh Seibel and Tyler Clairmont bring the experience the Demons need for a big season.
Brady Dutchak and James Kary return after a surprising season last year where the Midgets finished as the State A consolation champs. Brady Dutchak hit .314 last year as a sophomore and also did a great job handling the pitching staff as the everyday catcher. James Kary can also provide some punch at the plate but will make his mark as the ace of the pitching staff.
Co-head coaches Kent Schweigert and Mike Gustavsson have good depth this season but their power will come from Hunter Walsh who is back at catcher, first base and pitcher. Walsh was named All-West Region and Class A All-State last year.
5. Red River
A lot of people focus on the fact that this team doesn’t have Taylor Steen anymore but they have Zach Mahoney, Danny Palmiscino, Blake Kemnitz, and Dylan Dufault all back. Mahoney hit .349 with 15 RBI’s last season and should be their top hitter this spring. Dylan Dufault led the EDC last year with a 0.38 ERA followed by Zach Mahoney’s 0.44 mark. Blake Kemnitz was scuffed up for a 1.54 ERA. Not too shabby for three front line pitchers.
ND Class B
3. Central Cass
4. Bishop Ryan
5. Shiloh Christian