Coach: Chad Jensen, eighth season.
2013: 11-7, 5-8 NCC.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors Eric Hanes (OF); Adam McGinnis (2B); Mike Blackford (IF/P). Juniors Austin Lutz (P/SS); Jordan Herrnstein (OF/C/P); Seth Ollis (IF/P); Cole Stacklin (OF/C).
Others: Sophomores Seth Parsons (P/1B); Grant Loy (P/IF/OF); Tanner Zaebst (P/IF/OF); Cody Roberts (OF).
Outlook: After being bumped by Crestline, 6-1 at sectionals last year, the Bucks are hopeful to go further in the postseason in 2014.
While still possessing quite a bit of youth, the Bucks are a year older and wiser with 11 returning letterwinners. Yet, Buckeye Central only has a handful of seniors among its lineup. But Jensen is optimistic that the team can grow up as the season progresses.
"Our key to a successful season is to show improvement from last year and get better each practice and game," Jensen said.
The Bucks will have plenty of experienced bats returning from last year, including the duo of first-team All-NCC and second-team all-district selection Austin Lutz and second team All-NCC and all-district honorable ,ention Eric Hanes.
Lutz hit for a .337 average in 2013 and also was one the Bucks' top arms on the mound with a record of 5-6, with 60 strikeouts, 56 innings pitched and a 2.49 ERA. Hanes had an average of .381 with 16 RBIs and 16 runs scored
The key newcomers for 2014 are sophomore utility player Nash Ehresman and catcher Jaret Shook.
Jensen expects the improvement through the season in a very challenging NCC.
"Our strengths are varsity experience, team speed and overall depth in many positions," he said.
"Our only weakness may be that we are young, as we may play up to seven sophomores. So we need to be consistent with our hitting."
Jensen and the Bucks are gunning for the three NCC powerhouses: Galion, Upper Sandusky and Colonel Crawford as the teams to beat.
"Galion and Upper have a multitude of athletes to choose from and Crawford has a nice mixture of veterans and newcomers that will make them competitive this season," Jensen said.