During last weekends blizzard-like conditions it might have been easy for the average person to look upon spring as only a fond memory of a bygone time. However, amid the ice and snow, several of Harrison Countys finest have been busy preparing for the ultimate sign of spring time in America: baseball.
The Harrison County Thorobreds varsity baseball team will be coming off a 2007 season that saw them post a 26-8 overall record and capture a fifth-straight district championship. The Breds posted a perfect 8-0 record in the 38th district and were 16-2 in the 10th region, falling to George Rogers Clark early in the regular season and in the regional championship game.
This years team will start the season ranked No. 15 in the state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association, receiving one No. 1 vote.
We certainly like the pre-season ranking, said head coach Mac Whitaker. But that is based primarily on reputation. Now we have to go out there and prove that we deserve it.
A major strength for the 2008 edition of the Breds will undoubtedly be the caliber and experience of players taking the mound, as 12 of last years 13 pitchers return to the team. Senior pitchers Brandon Martin and Clifton Snyder are expected to lead the way for Harrison County.
Martin has garnered attention from the KHSBCA as a top 50 pre-season all-state prospect.
In the infield, Harrison County will be returning several two-year starters at nearly every position.
Junior Eric Case will be holding down short stop with a host of sophomores around him.
Our team is very young, but they have a good deal of experience, said Whitaker. Thats good for this year, and it makes the future look bright.
Matthew Dye will be at second base, Jared Martin will play third base, and Josh Moss is expected to split time at catcher with junior Bobby Feeback.
The decision for starter at first base is still up in the air, with both junior Taylor Hill and freshman Logan Dailey as the strongest possibilities.
The outfield will be manned by sophomores Malcolm Thomas and Drew Thompson, who will join senior Beau Sanders. The junior Feeback will also spend time in the outfield.
This team is going to need some time to develop, but they are very good and will be able to compete, said Whitaker. Our roster is full of athletes and well be very strong defensively. We need to work on our offense. We need more power in our bat. We can hit a lot of singles but we have yet to find that power that can put runs on the board in bunches. We have a long way to go, but I really feel good about our chances.
The first chance to see the Breds in action will come on Tuesday, March 18, as the varsity team hosts the Anderson County Bearcats for a scrimmage beginning at 6 p.m.
Harrison County will open the regular season with a home game against the Owen County Rebels on Monday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. On Tuesday, March 25, the Breds will host the Grant County Braves with a start time of 5:30 p.m.