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Indians have mix of experience, youth this season
|Lawrenceville High School's baseball team will feature a mix of experienced and younger players as the Indians look to improve on last year's 10-13 record. Pictured are: (front L-R) Jared Gray, Drevin Sanders, Brenyn Winningham, Jachin Cooper, Leyton Ivers and Jaren Ault. In back are: (L-R) Logan Angle, Christion Beamon, Damon Zollars, Cale Powell, Ryan Schultz, Ethan Kelly, Kaleb McFarland and Eli Ivers. (Josh Brown | Daily Record)|
By Josh Brown
LAWRENCEVILLE - Combining experience and potential will hopefully add up to a winning formula for Lawrenceville High School's baseball team this season.
The Indians return several players with varsity experience, while also adding a promising group of young players that head coach Josh Voigtlander hopes will continue to bring wins into the program.
"I feel we have a great group of returners and we have multiple players that have at least two years of varsity experience under their belt and are now ready to compete and take the next step," Voigtlander said.
A trio of seniors - Cale Powell, Christion Beamon, Eli Ivers and a junior - Ethan Kelly - headline a veteran group for the Indians.
"Ethan emerged as an all-conference pitcher for us last season as a sophomore and has taken a few steps in the offseason to improve," Voigtlander said. "He will begin the season as out as our No. 1 and someone I trust to give the ball to in big games. Eli has played varsity baseball since his freshman year and looks to contribute as a starter and a key bat in our lineup. He can play almost any position on the field and will do so willingly. Cale is one of the best defensive catchers I have seen the past few seasons. He has been our starting backstop for three years now and always does a great job of shutting down the opposing team's running game. Christion has been our starting center fielder for three years and will continue to be a constant in that position. His speed on defense and on the bases is a great asset and he has the ability to get on base and create runs."
Voigtlander is also excited about his sophomore group that includes infielders Logan Angle and Drevin Sanders.
"Logan has a little bit of varsity experience and is one of the hardest workers on the team," Voigtlander said. "He has the potential to be a power bat in our lineup and contribute on the mound as well. Drevin had some varsity experience toward the end of last season and is also an extremely hard worker. He has a chance to play some infield for us, as he is a very reliable defender. His baseball IQ and willingness to learn will help him succeed now and in the future."
While there is talent up and down the line-up, it is not extroardinarily deep, as there are just 15 players on the team this season. As a result, Lawrenceville had to cancel their freshman-sophomore games.
Rounding out the roster are senior Kaleb McFarland (1B/OF/P), junior Damon Zollars (OF), sophomores Brenyn Winningham (C/P/OF), Ryan Schultz (3B/1B), Jared Gray (OF/P) and Connor Pargin (OF) and freshmen Leyton Ivers (utility), Jaren Ault (C/OF) and Jachin Cooper (OF).
Depth on the mound is an area Voigtlander is excited about, as they have not only the arms, but quality arms.
"I believe we have the pitching to compete with any team in the conference, as we are returning two of our top three pitchers from last season and have others who have contributed as well," Voigtlander said. "Our pitching will keep us in games and give a chance every day."
However, Voigtlander knows his team will also need to score runs to be able to win.
"We will need to improve offensively from last season in order to take that next step," Voigtlander said. "We have been trying some new things in practice to expose our hitters to velocity with a pitching machine in order to make practice BP more challenging than games. I believe if our players put in the work it can increase our offensive numbers."
Just as hitting and pitching are important, so are the little things and the intangibles, which can be a determining factor in wins and losses just as much as anything.
"This is something that goes for every team and his very simple. If we can limit the strikeouts on offense, put pressure on the defense and limit free bases on defense we will be successful," Voigtlander said. "If two evenly matched teams play you will often find the team that gives up less free bases to the offense will usually come out on top."
Should everything come together like Voigtlander envisions, the Indians could be in line for a very successful season.
"My expectations for this team are high as they are every season," Voigtlander said. "I expect this group to compete for a top-three spot in the conference and if we can get a few things clicking win a regional. I believe if we don't place high expectations on ourselves than why are we here? High expectations are fun and it means something big could possibly be achieved and that is why we play this game."
Lawrenceville opens their season next week with four games in a five-day span. The Indians are to play host to Martinsville Monday and Louisville-North Clay Tuesday, before playing at Cisne Thursday (March 19) and back at home against Flora Friday (March 20).
2020 Lawrenceville Indians Baseball Roster
Name Yr. Pos.
Eli Ivers Sr. IF/P
Cale Powell Sr. C/P/OF
Christion Beamon Sr. OF/P
Kaleb McFarland Sr. 1B/OF/P
Damon Zollars Jr. OF
Ethan Kelly Jr. P/SS/OF
Logan Angle So. 1B/3B/P
Brenyn Winningham So. C/P/OF
Ryan Schultz So. 3B/1B
Drevin Sanders So. 2B
Jared Gray So. OF/P
Connor Pargin So. OF
Leyton Ivers Fr. UTL
Jaren Ault Fr. C/OF
Jachin Cooper Fr. OF
Head coach: Josh Voigtlander
Assistant coaches: Craig Bunten, Cory Joergens, Oliver Large
2020 Lawrenceville Indians Baseball Schedule
Date Opponent Time
3-16 MARTINSVILLE 4:30 p.m.
3-17 LOUISVILLE-NORTH CLAY 4:30 p.m.
3-19 at Cisne 4:30 p.m.
3-20 FLORA 4:30 p.m.
3-24 at Marshall 4:30 p.m.
3-25 at Oblong 4:30 p.m.
3-28 ROBINSON 10 a.m.
3-30 at Edwards County 4:30 p.m.
3-31 CUMBERLAND 4:30 p.m.
4-1 at Carmi 4:30 p.m.
4-2 at Paris 4:30 p.m.
4-6 FAIRFIELD 4:30 p.m.
4-13 MARSHALL 4:30 p.m.
4-14 at Hutsonville-Palestine 4:30 p.m.
4-16 at Red Hill 4:30 p.m.
4-20 CASEY-WESTFIELD 4:30 p.m.
4-22 at Mt. Carmel 4:30 p.m.
4-23 NEWTON 4:30 p.m.
4-25 at Salem (DH) 11 a.m.
4-27 at Flora 4:30 p.m.
4-28 at North Knox 5 p.m.
4-30 OLNEY 4:30 p.m.
5-4 at Robinson 4:30 p.m.
5-5 at Union-Dugger 5 p.m.
5-7 at Vincennes Rivet 4 p.m.
5-8 MT. CARMEL 4:15 p.m.
5-11 PARIS 4:30 p.m.
5-13 at South Knox 4:30 p.m.
5-14 RED HILL 6 p.m.
5-18 at IHSA Regional TBA
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