Strong batteries: Post 14 loaded with pitching, catching options
Pitching and catching options will be familiar faces for the Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball team. Coach Cory Anderson--taking over this summer for Shane Schoeneberg, who resigned his post--said the team feels comfortable sending nearly every p...
Pitching and catching options will be familiar faces for the Jamestown Post 14 Legion baseball team.
Coach Cory Anderson-taking over this summer for Shane Schoeneberg, who resigned his post-said the team feels comfortable sending nearly every pitcher on the roster to the mound as well as putting four different players behind the plate.
"It's kind of a unique situation we're in right now," he said.
Post 14 opens its season against Mitchell, S.D., at 5:30 p.m. today at Jack Brown Stadium.
Jamestown brings back four players from college in Joey Gebhardt, Tyler Ukestad, Shaun Hogan and Cody Horn. Three-year starting shortstop Nick Fuchs did not come out, but that opens up a hole for Tanner Lunzman, who has played mostly second base. He has been the backup shortstop the past two years.
"Tanner can handle it-we will have a group of utility players," Anderson said. "We'll be able to mix and match moreso than ever."
Jamestown has plenty of experience to lean on, particularly on the mound. Gebhardt, Ukestad, high school ace Brian Wenzel and Peyton Walker are four regular options that will see plenty of time, Anderson said. Walker was the No. 2 for the Blue Jays this spring.
"Those are probably the guys we have to take care of in terms of innings as we go on through the year," Anderson said. "We'll make sure they get consistent innings, and then just build off that."
Said Ukestad: "The pitching depth is really there. There are some teams that don't have as much pitching as we have. That should help us in the postseason."
Post 14 has an abundance of catchers, though starter Joey Gebhardt will continue to be the mainstay, having manned the position the past three seasons. However, Ben Friebel caught for the Jays this spring, Hogan is the veteran backup and Wenzel has been a reliable option the past two seasons.
"We were talking about who our fifth catching option would be," Anderson said, half-jokingly. "The Legion season is such a grind. We won't have to necessarily always rely on one person."
Gebhardt said the important part is making sure the starting catcher is always ready to go.
"Just having guys that are fresh that can go 100 percent the whole time ..." Gebhardt said. "It'll be nice to have Wenzel, Friebel and Hogan catching, too."
Jamestown tied for eighth in the preseason coaches poll with Fargo Post 400. Defending state champion Bismarck received five of 10 first-place votes atop the poll. Grand Forks received four and was second, while Fargo Post 2 was third, receiving one first-place vote.
Post 14 was one of the final five teams at the state tournament last season. However, Jamestown did have only three statewide wins during the regular season.
"I hope they have a chip on their shoulder," Anderson said. "We've got to go out and prove them wrong. Go out and do it on the field and let that drive them a little bit."
Hogan said the poll is only a starting point for fans.
"It doesn't really bother us," he said. "We know we can compete. We can make a good run at it."