BV looks to build off 2017 success
The Berryville baseball team is ready to build off last year's 14-11 season and make a run at the state tournament. That is something the Bobcats haven't done in a long time.
"We are going to be a young team," Berryville coach David Broseus said. "We have got a couple of seniors that are going to be able to give us everyday playing time, but we lost a little bit too. We lost our shortstop. We lost our second baseman. We are replacing a four-year starter at center field and two or three year starters at middle infield, as well as pretty solid pitching. We have been working really hard in the offseason and come a long way. We are excited to get these guys out on the field and get them playing a little baseball."
Broseus hopes this senior class will make for good leaders this year.
"The kids have been working real hard," Broseus said. "I have two returning seniors that we are going to count on quite a bit in Austin Woods and Chay Myers. I also have a senior, Morgan Logan, who we are trying to get quite a few innings out of. He is primarily a pitcher, but he also plays a little bit of outfield. My other two seniors are Josh Hutchins and Justin Mueller. We are hoping they will be able to get out there and contribute as well."
Broseus also expects a number of underclassmen to step up and make contributions to this year's team.
"Braden Logan, Ethan Gregory, Rusty Colbert and Charlie Davis were all starters as sophomores last year," Broseus said. "Therefore, we are expecting big things out of them this year with another year of experience under their belt. Year in and year out, I have a couple of freshmen and sophomores and freshmen that I can count on. Austin Franklin is one of those. Austin K. Woods, no relation to Austin W. Woods, the senior. He is a good utility player for us. He can play infield and outfield. He can pitch a little bit and his bat is coming along nicely. Tyler Payne is still in basketball right now, but we are looking for him to give us quite a few innings up on the mound. He can also be a utility player. He can play around in the infield and outfield, but his passion is pitching. He came in and gave us a lot of innings last year and we are hoping for the same this year."
Broseus said as the year progresses, he expects to see some freshmen make some plays for the Bobcats.
"Jarrett Stringer and Tanner Rosales are both good ballplayers," Broseus said. "They came to us with a good foundation and we have been able to build on that in the offseason. We are expecting big things out of those two as well as Jerek Cole and Jace Walker. Those guys have been showing up, working hard and getting better. Dylan Sperduto is my other freshmen. He just came out of wrestling, so he has only been with us for a few days. We are working with him and he has already came a long way in just a few days."
Because the basketball team has made a run to the Class 4A state tournament, Broseus said he doesn't have a full team yet but he is excited to get those players acclimated to the system as well.
"We have several returners coming over from basketball," Broseus said. "Kooper Logan is one. Brian Hall will be coming over. Austin Franklin saw quite a bit of playing time last year. He will be coming over, as will Tyler Payne. And then Dominic Henry, a freshmen, he got bumped up to the varsity team after junior high season. So he is going to finish out the rest of the year with the high school team."
With the up and down weather Berryville has seen so far this season, Broseus said it has been tough to get out and practice very much.
"We had some mild weather earlier in the winter," Broseus said. "We were able to get out on the field quite a bit. We spent quite a bit of time doing intrasquad scrimmages and working on our individual skills as well as our collective skills. We have been trying to get as creative as we can. Just take advantage of what we have on campus and in this general vicinity. It's unfortunate, but you put up with it and move on."
Berryville's first game is Friday, March 2, and Broseus hopes to come out and be competitive right away.
"Our first focus is to go out there and compete hard," Broseus said. "We want to represent out town and our school and our family to the best of our abilities every time we step on the field. Winning the game will usually take care of itself if you compete hard. We are just trying to figure out these first couple of weeks what kind of team we are."
Broseus said he hopes the Bobcats can learn from this weekend's Carroll County Tournament, which starts on Friday.
"The uniqueness of this tournament is that each batter starts with a 2-1 count," Broseus Said. "It limits the amount of pitches the kids have to throw in order to still play a game. But it also puts pressure on you because you have to throw strikes. If you throw two balls, you end up walking someone."
Berryville will play Pea Ridge, Lead Hill and Green Forest in this weekend's tournament. First pitch with Pea Ridge is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Berryville. The Bobcats will play Lead Hill and Green Forest on Saturday in Green Forest.