Bucks eager to improve in baseball – Bucyrus Telegraph Forum
NEW WASHINGTON â After a last place finish in the Northern 10 conference last season, coach Chad Jensen and the Bucks are eager to improve on that mark and shake things up in the conference this season.
It won’t be an easy task, though, with a number of starters from last season gone due to graduation.
“We return three starters and four letter winners, so we lost some pretty good players from last year,” Jensen said.Â “We’re going to see where we are, we’ve worked really hard in the offseason and the kids are really looking forward to proving themselves on the field. We’re inexperienced, but the kids have worked hard and hopefully we can work on the fly.”
Buckeye Central has to fill the void left from Grant Loy, Tanner Zaebst and Cory Roberts’ departures. Loy was All-N10 First Team, District 9 First Team, and All-Ohio First Team, Zaebst was All-N10 Second Team and District 9 Honorable Mention, while Roberts was All-N10 Honorable Mention.
The Bucks do return Trent Craft who had a .283 batting average, seven RBIs, two doubles and 11 runs last season as a junior, along with Josh Dentinger and his .270 batting average, 10 RBIs, 15 runs andÂ three doubles on the offensive side of the ball, while going 2-1 as a pitcher with 28 strikeouts and a 2.04 ERA in 24 innings pitched. Craft and Dentinger will be expected to help the young team grow throughout the season.
“The players have worked very hard in the offseason, however, we have several players who are new to the varsity game,” Jensen said.Â “The key to our success is how quickly our inexperienced players adapt to the nuances of varsity competition.”
With the new pitch count going into effect this season, coaches may have to get creative with their rotations and how they utilize pitchers in games. Jensen said it hasn’t changed the way his team practices or how they’ll prepare for a game and thinks it could only come into play with the lower end of the regulation.
“The only way it’ll affect us is after 31 pitches and we can’t throw them the next day, it could potentially affect us, but the back end of that won’t affect us any,” Jensen said.Â “The front end could, but I try not to use guys back-to-back anyways.”
One thing that will help him get through this easily this season is having great starting pitchers already, but he admits they will need to develop pitching depth throughout the season to be successful. The Bucks boast several players who can play multiple positions, so that’ll allow Jensen flexibility this year defensively and as long as they can hit more consistently than last season, they could be a surprise in the N10.
“Our expectation doesn’t change year after year, we go out and try to win each game and see where that falls,” Jensen said.Â “We want to be playing our best baseball at the end of the year and that’s what we decided for each game.
“Ultimately we want to improve andÂ try to be our best at the end of the year.”
Buckeye Central opens its season on the roadÂ with a double header against Fremont St. Joseph on March 25, the first game is set to start at 11 a.m.