The Prowler

Boys’ baseball swings into action

Preston Zbroszcyk, Staff Writer

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Another baseball season for the Tigers gets ready to begin with the same high expectations it does every year with a run to state. After last year’s disappointing semifinal loss to Neuqua Valley, the meeting between the two on April 27 is a game North will have circled on its calendar.

Coach John Darlington has high expectations for his new roster. “We have a great group of seniors and juniors. Hopefully, that translates into a successful season,” Darlington said.

The Tigers opened their season with a slate of road non-conference matchups. The opening game was on March 14 versus Morris. Tiger opened there 2018 season on a high notes. Winning 10-4 versus Morris. Junior Greg Budig had four hit a scoring double off the wall to help the Tiger start the season on a positive note.

With a small rest, they travel to St. Louis for their annual tournament March 16 and 17. The tigers will have a tough test ahead of them in that tournament against opponents they have seen in the past and beaten, which makes them winnable games and gets them prepared for the long rode.

Junior Noah Mazza has considered that the team looks strong to start the season “We look great. Everyone has betting working hard at practice,” Mazza said.

This year’s season goal is not anything new that the Tigers are stepping into, only that they build off of their past season’s success and make the next step to a state final.

Darlington does not look to enforce a new style of play, but only to teach it to the new players and to push the team past the hump it has been on and take them to the next level.

“This season we are looking to go even further than last year, and ultimately pushing for a state title. I think we have the talent to make it far in the playoffs,” junior Greg Budig said.

By losing a lot of athletes who graduated last year, this year’s team roster might be more versatile which is what the team needs.

“We have a good mix of pitchers and position players from the junior and [senior] class,” Darlington said.

The Tiger’s roster has star players who have already made their future decisions to continue their baseball careers collegiately. Seniors Brady Miller and Gavin Doyle have committed to Western Kentucky University.

“We’ve played baseball together for a long time, so having both of us play together collegially knowing how each other play and the chemistry we have something we look to bring to Western Kentucky,” Doyle said.

Miller had his best pitching season last year earning him number one starting pitcher in the rotation and opening day starter. Miller looks to leave North the right way this year.

Doyle is a starting shortstop for the Tigers who had the highest batting average and on base percentage hitting more than five homeruns last season.

“Committing to a division one school has always been a dream for me that came true this year. Ever since I started playing baseball as a little kid I knew I wanted to play college baseball. I want to leave it all on the line this season for my senior season,” Doyle said.

 

Darlington believes leadership is a key component. “We always depend on our seniors to be great leader off and on the field,” Darlington said.

North seniors don’t have all the heavy lifting and they let the new comers know the expectations of a winning program. Current junior members Greg Budig and junior Cameron Kissel were both sophomore players who played varsity last season and gave Darlington reliable players to move around and play any position he needed them to. Their athleticism and knowledge of the game at a young age could make this team better for the upcoming season.

“I think having the experience at the varsity level will allow me to motivate others and guide them throughout the year,” Kissel said.

The Tigers have no room for error this season and will try to capitalize off of years past are coveting.

“Plainfield North has always had a phenomenal baseball program, and I think this year we will have one of the best to ever go through the school,” Kissel said.

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Boys’ baseball swings into action