Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

April 11, 2014

BASEBALL: Howard County preview

Panthers, Tigers embark on new coaching eras

(Continued)

Schroeder will anchor the pitching staff. As a freshman, he had a 5-2 record with a 2.63 ERA. He fired a one-hitter against Harrison.

“We expect him when he’s not pitching to be our catcher. He is the general on the field, so to speak,” Owens said.

Freshman Noah Poe is the No. 2 pitcher. He tossed a two-hit shutout to lead Taylor past Frankton 10-0 in five innings last week in the Titans’ only pre-spring break game.

Lazaro and Douglas are the Nos. 3 and 4 pitchers. Sophomores Justin Moody and Jordan Maroney and junior Brandon Bassett are possibilities for the Nos. 5 and 6 spots.

Defensively, Schroeder is the main catcher with senior Ryke Langevin and freshman Caleb Murdock as backups. Gatlin is at first base, Poe and Lazaro will see time at second base, Douglas and Poe will see time at short and junior Nick Barnett and Moody are possibilities for the hot corner. Junior Tristan Kivett was in line to start at second base, but he is on the mend after suffering a broken leg on the first day of practice.

Lazaro anchors the outfield plans. Juniors Kyle Roe and Jonathan Maroney and sophomores Stone Deckard, Levi Hoyet and Darrian Stone also are in the mix.

Offensively, Roe and Douglas are candidates for top spots in the order with Schroeder, Gatlin and Lazaro filling the middle. Last season, Roe batted .364, Gatlin batted .329 with four homers, seven doubles and 21 RBI and Schroeder had a .316 average.

Owens is cautiously optimistic about his squad.

“Every year, I tell my players that I want to be positive, but I want to be realistic. I really do feel like we’re going to have a winning season. I feel like we could compete in the MIC and compete for a sectional title, but it’s going to come down to us performing on the field, not what I say.”

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