B-E baseball preview: Youth movement for Chargers
The Brandon-Evansville baseball team will have a much different look this spring with an almost entirely new lineup after nine letter winners were lost to graduation.
The Chargers went 13-9 last year, winning 13 or more games for the third straight season. If they are going to do that again, it will have to come with the help of a large group of newcomers with Tom Bosek, Brandon Christianson and James Huisman being the only returning starters and senior Cody Lund back as a returning letter winner.
“Our team is very young, unproven and we lost almost all of our team leaders from a year ago,” head coach Brian Perleberg said. “With only three position players returning, we are replacing almost all of our defensive positions with new faces. It’s important that we have some guys step it up and be willing to lead this team through the rigorous 10-week season we are about to begin. Other than Tom Bosek, our pitching staff will be inexperienced at the varsity level.”
Perleberg said it’s a group of new prospects that come to the field with the right attitude every day. Juniors Kevin Roers (OF), Christian McGaffey (SS/3B) and Zach Johnson (1B/3B/P), sophomore Robbie Juul (3B/P) and freshmen Kevin Campbell (IF), Jake Nohre (Utility) and Austin Bitzan (IF) will all have opportunities to step into some open spots on varsity this spring.
“This year’s squad brings a blue-collar work ethic to practice every day,” Perleberg said. “With many positions up for grabs, we have had great competition between guys battling for playing time. This group of young men is willing to listen and learn and carry a quiet confidence with them.”
It’s also a group of players that gives their sixth-year head coach some options of what he can do with the lineup.
“Many of our guys are very versatile on defense, which will allow us to have the flexibility needed to get through the demands of a fast paced spring schedule when pitching dictates so much of what we can and can’t do. A lot of our strengths are still waiting to be determined with such a young squad.”
The Chargers will get their feet wet in the Pheasant Conference. Perleberg sees Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Wheaton, Ashby and Ortonville as evenly balanced teams with solid talent returning. New York Mills is likely the team to beat in the Section 6A South field.
2014 BRANDON-EVANSVILLE BASEBALL
SENIOR – Cody Lund
JUNIORS – Kevin Roers, James Huisman, Tom Bosek, Brandon Christianson, Zach Johnson, Christian McGaffey, Pat McGaffey
SOPHOMORE – Robbie Juul
FRESHMEN – Kevin Campbell, Jake Nohre, Austin Bitzan
COACHES – Head coach – Brian Perleberg, sixth season, 63-63; Assistant coach – Jason Seiling