Experience Should Make Curwensville Baseball More Competitive In 2014

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CURWENSVILLE – Last season, the Curwensville Area High School baseball team missed playoff action with a 6-13 mark.  However, with their three top pitchers back on the mound and a seasoned defense, the Golden Tide believes they will make some noise in the 2014 campaign.

“Our three senior pitchers accounted for four of our victories last year, and we expect, and need, quality innings out of them when they are on the hill,” said Curwensville head coach Denny Johns.  “We have a fairly veteran group back, and I have been pleased with their attitude thus far at practice.  I really think that our experience will translate into success this year.”

The senior trio to look for on the mound consists of Kyle Johns, Brett Gardner and Ricky Magnuson who will all fill other positions when not hurling.  Magnuson steps to first base, and Johns will roam in left field.  Gardner will occupy second base to solidify play up the middle along with senior shortstop Tanner Elensky.  Returning third baseman Jake B. Stiles will most likely finish out the infield when he’s not needed as a pitcher.

The Tide returns seven letterwinners in all, including the five players listed above.  Senior Alex Olson and junior Travis Lansberry are the other two returners with quality time on the field.  Olson is a utility man who can play many positions from catcher to outfield while Lansberry should be found day-to-day in center.

“Up the middle with Tanner and Brett we are very solid,” said Johns.  “Overall, really, we have very good strength on defense.  Even the younger guys, who had some success at the j.v. level, will give us good gloves as they get acclimated to the speed of the game at the varsity level.”

Other players looking to fill spots behind the vets are infielders in senior Tyler Mays, junior A. J. Bloom, and sophomores Gage Baughman and Jake Terry.  Mays could also see time in the outfield along with junior Jake C. Stiles and sophomores Noah Strickland and R.J. Olson while joining Olson and Mays behind the plate is Hunter Lancaster.

Other players out of the bullpen for the Tide consists of Lansberry, Baughman, Strickland, Trevor Anderson and Austin Turner.

Offensively, the Black and Gold is looking to translate defensive hustle into runs with speed on the bases as well.  Gardner, Elensky and Johns each hit over .300 last season and will be looked to to charge the attack this year.  And Johns is looking for the team to be more consistent at the plate in 2014.

“We have decent contact hitters to move guys around the diamond,” said Johns.  “We want to utilize our team speed to move the defense to create gaps.  I think we will have a better team average at the plate this year and be more competitive as a result.”

While the Tide looks to turn in a better campaign, they know that their opponents are out there to try to keep that from happening.  The Moshannon Valley League should prove to be very competitive while the northern league boasts the likes of defending state champion Johnsonburg and several other quality squads.

“It seems like everyone has a very strong number one pitcher,” Johns noted.  “Any time you see them, it will be a tough game and anytime you can get into their bullpen, you have to take advantage.  Early in the season, the team that can throw consistent strikes will win games.  As the bats catch up to live pitching, the hitters will determine victories.

“We have gotten outside a few days recently.  It wasn’t ideal conditions, but we needed it to get a feel for the season to come.”

A feel for the season was needed as Curwensville drew defending state champ Johnsonburg for their home opener that was slated for Monday.  However, that game has already been rescheduled for April 4.  Only time will tell whether Wednesday’s contest at DuBois Central Catholic will take place.

ROSTER

Seniors

Victor De Jesus, Tanner Elensky, Brett Gardner, Kyle Johns, Dalton LaBorde, Ricky Magnuson, Tyler Mays, Alex Olson, Austin Turner.

Juniors

A. J. Bloom, Travis Lansberry, Jake B. Stiles, Jake C. Stiles.

Sophomores

Trevor Anderson, Gage Baughman, Dustin Cole, Hunter Lancaster, Quamone Newkirk, R. J. Olson, Noah Strickland, Jake Terry.

Freshmen

Austin Butlin, Eli Jacobs, Mason Lancaster, Zach McClure, Garrett Shaw.

SCHEDULE

Date Opponent

Time

 

3/24 JOHNSONBURG

4:15

3/26 at DuBois Central Catholic

4:15

3/28 CLARION

4:15

3/31 BROOKVILLE

4:15

4/3 at Harmony

4:30

4/7 at Kane

4:15

4/9 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC

4:15

4/11 at West Branch

4:30

4/14 at Brockway

4:15

4/16 at Ridgway

4:15

4/17 at Punxsutawney

4:15

4/21 MOSHANNON VALLEY

4:15

4/22 at North Clarion

4:15

4/23 at Johnsonburg

4:15

4/28 DuBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC

4:15

5/2 at Glendale       4:30
5/5 KANE

4:15

5/7 at Elk County Catholic

4:15

5/12 BROCKWAY

4:15

5/14 RIDGWAY

4:15

Led by Six Returnees, Lady Bison Taking Aim at Winning Season
FOW Edward Matthew Schmidt Jr. Captured

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