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Calvert Baseball

March 28, 2014
The Advertiser-Tribune

Coach: Dustin Ritchie, second season.

2013: 10-15, 5-5 Midland Athletic League (sixth).

Returning letterwinners: Senior Austin Perry (1B). Juniors Jacob Vera (SS/P); Matt Iannatuono (OF); Jacob Zimmerman (IF); Jesse Gase (C). Sophomores Austin Prenzlin (OF/P); Sam Shelt-Palm (2B); Drew Ritzler (IF/P).

Others: Junior Marcus King (IF/P). Sophomores Joey Krajewski (2B); Brayden Harrison (OF/P); Bailey Hickman (IF/P). Freshmen Peyton Deats (OF/P); Joey Deandra (IF/OF); Korbin Cantner (IF/OF/P); Kaden Weuscher (IF/P).

Outlook: For Calvert to maneuver through the labyrinth that is the top of the MAL, it's going to have to rely on its eight letterwinners, only one of which is a senior.

Four teams finished with an 8-2 or better record in the league last season. But the stakes are even higher as it's the last season of the league.

"We have talked about that," Ritchie said. "We want to be the last ones to take that MAL championship."

But they have five teams that finished ahead of them to overcome if they're going to do it.

"The teams to beat are Seneca East, North Baltimore and Hopewell-Loudon. But New Riegel is always in that mix. They always have a good team," Ritchie said. "We have a really good shot at the MAL. We have some guys with experience under their belt and are hungry to win."

Seven of those returnees are starters or vying for a starting spot.

The team's lone senior, Perry, will be manning first with Shelt-Palm taking second and Vera at shortstop. Ritzler and Hickman are looking like a potential platoon at this point. In the outfield, Prenzlin returns to left field and Iannantuono will play in right. Gase returns as well behind the dish.

Peyton Deats will be the fresh face in center field.

On the mound, Vera, Deats, King and Prenzlin all figure to see some time.

"Defensively (we're strong) and then offensively, we have some guys who can move the ball around," Ritchie said. "We have some really good contact hitters."

It's those bats that Ritchie feels will make up for the team's deficiency: speed.

"We don't have much speed, but I think we'll make up for that with our bats and move guys in certain situations," he said.

All that experience has left Ritchie with some high hopes.

"We kind of set the bar high. We really want to focus on having a winning record this year," Ritchie said. "We were close last year but with injuries and things like that, it knocked us out of some games."



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