Beachy noted the Tigers’ defense looked good in the opener.
“We’ve got guys who can play different positions and I’m confident in all of those guys no matter where they are,” he said.
Macaluso is the team’s top returning pitcher. He had a 3-3 record, one save and a 3.46 ERA in 2013. Pyle, Matlock, Downey and Sheely also are in the pitching plans and Bowley is a leading bullpen option.
“Not a ton of varsity experience [in that group], but we’re hoping as the season goes on, they’ll gain experience, gain confidence and we’ll be looking good come sectional time,” Beachy said.
Northwestern (0-1) returns to action Wednesday at Eastern.
The Wildkats are in a rebuilding mode after going with a senior-heavy lineup last season. They finished 13-11.
“The thing I like about this team so far is it’s a fun team to be around,” Kat coach Tim Weeks said. “We have great chemistry, the kids get along with each other, they’re fun to coach. They’re just a scrappy bunch. I don’t think we’re going to 10-run a lot of people, but I think we’re going to battle everybody we play.”
Weeks is looking to junior Adam Bartholomew to anchor the pitching staff. He had a 1-2 record and 1.79 ERA last season. Seniors Dustin Gamblin (one save), Mavric Collier (1-0, one save) and Isaac Turner also are starting candidates. Gamblin is a knuckleball pitcher.
Junior Colan Ruch, the team’s only lefty, could see time on the mound as spot starter. Seniors David Partida and Slater Young and sophomore Chase Pearce are bullpen options.
“The thing that is key for us is we have to pitch better,” Weeks said. “We haven’t had that dominant No. 1 in a couple years. If we can’t get that, we just need everybody to step up and throw strikes.”