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SOC BASEBALL GLANCE

SOC BASEBALL GLANCE

NORTH MEDFORD

COACH:

Brett Wolfe (10th year)

LAST YEAR: 25-4, 13-1 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 4-1.

— RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Rob FolsomC/PSr.

Russ Vandell3BSr.

Beau HovlandSS/PSr.

Charlie Behnke3B/PSr.

Jeff Adams2BSr.

Sammy McHenryCFSr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Abe Eubanks1BSo.

Brandon White1B/DH/CSr.

Kyle WilliamsonSS/OFJr.

Matt SchmeltzerOFJr.

Brian PlacePSr.

Cole RohrboughPJr.

Josh SuarezLF/PJr.

AT A GLANCE: No team will cry for North, but the Tornado does have to reshuffle the deck quite a bit after losing a lot from last year's top-ranked squad. The outfield is entirely new, and the pitching staff is essentially unproven. We lost a lot of kids from last year, but I'm pretty comfortable with our team, says Wolfe. I like our kids. They like the game, like to compete, play hard and they listen. ... No better leader by example can be found than in Folsom, who was a first-team all-state catcher last year and has already committed to OSU. ... Hovland and Folsom were limited in their mound duties last year, with Rohrbough, Place and Suarez all bumped up from the JV. Rohrbough and Suarez each provide a good complement from the left side to righties Hovland and Place. ... Vandell has been missing in action due to appendicitis, but is slated to be released to play this week and should be up to game speed in a couple weeks. ... Stepping into the outfield will be Schmeltzer, Suarez and Williamson on the corners and McHenry in center. ... After a limited role at second the past two years, Adams moves in full time, while first-year performers Eubanks and White will split duties at first and DH.

SOUTH MEDFORD

COACH:

Steve Antich (third year)

LAST YEAR: 11-14, 6-8 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 4-1.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Corey O'NeillCFSr.

Dan ChanclerLFJr.

Tim HoltzP/3BSr.

Matt BryantP/3BSr.

Andy NarusSSSr.

Tyler Heil2B/PJr.

Allen Smith1BSr.

Justin MeyerC/DHJr.

Ben KoziolCSo.

OTHER NOTABLES

Logan BoydRFJr.

Kevin SalisburyDHSr.

Evan Norris3B/2BSr.

Tommy GeorgePSo.

AT A GLANCE: South returns its entire lineup from last year save for left fielder Jeremy Frantz, who moved on to Western Baptist. The Panther cast also barely missed out on a trip to the regionals during American Legion ball with the Colts, so the 2004 outlook is better than ever at South. We feel like if we take care of our side of the equation, says Antich, we'll be pretty darn good. ... Antich considers his trio of outfielders in O'Neill, Chancler and Boyd as the team's foundation. O'Neill and Chancler were both first-team all-SOC picks last year, and Boyd has that same upside after missing last year with a knee injury. ... The infield is solid but could use more consistency. Narus has the ability to make all the plays at shortstop, while Heil and Smith are steady. ... The pitching rotation remains intact from last year as Holtz, Heil, Bryant and George will man the mound in an entirely right-handed rotation. Holtz has shown a willingness to take the ball in big games and will be asked to step up his game even more this season for the Panthers to make a title run. ... South boasts a bevy of hitters, sparked by O'Neill in the leadoff spot, Narus at No. 2, Chancler at — and the sweet-swinging Smith in the cleanup spot.

ASHLAND

COACH:

Jason Robustelli (second year)

LAST YEAR: 13-13, 8-6 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 4-0.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Chad HegdahlP/1BSr.

Ben Dodds2BSr.

Jackson Rowe1B/DHSr.

Arron NelsonCFSr.

Brian RossC/PSr.

Micah WestonSS/PSr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Rocky Reeser3BSr.

Steve JorgensenC/UtilJr.

Jeff SkinnerRFJr.

Josh McDermottOF/PJr.

Andrew DelcarloP/OFJr.

John GoldbergLFSo.

Aaron San NicholasP/OFSo.

Aaron DeckerINF/PSo.

AT A GLANCE: With first-team all-SOC standout Hegdahl and five other senior starters returning, there's more than enough reason for optimism in Ashland. They've got a little seasoning under them and definitely know what it takes to get the job done, Robustelli says. They know what the competition is like, and it isn't going to be overwhelming like it was last year. ... Hegdahl led the conference last year with a .511 batting average, and the left-hander is the SOC's most dominant returning pitcher. The crafty third-year starter features a potent changeup and curveball to go with a sneaky fastball. He's got good stuff and he's passionate about baseball, says Robustelli. He leads by example for the other kids. ... Weston has been sharp on the mound as the Grizzlies' No. 2 man, with Ross and San Nicholas also expected to chew up some innings. ... Rowe provides a high on-base percentage, while Goldberg should keep teams honest with his powerful swing in the five-hole behind Hegdahl. Weston and Nelson also swing potent bats for the Grizz. We've got some sticks, says Robustelli. I think there's a lot of potential for bigger innings.

ROSEBURG

COACH:

Troy Thompson (second year)

LAST YEAR: 12-13, 6-8 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 1-2.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Kerry HallP/SS/3BSr.

Michael MitchellCSr.

Tanner Clagett1B/PSr.

Aaron Buxton2B/SSJr.

Blake KeitzmanP/OFSo.

Ryan RobinsonPSr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Brian BensonCJr.

Mitchell NelsonOFSo.

Quentin ClarkOFJr.

Kevan Gerretsen1BSr.

Alex CookPJr.

Brandt WalkerOFJr.

Eric ThompsonP/3BSo.

Dusty BrighamUtilJr.

AT A GLANCE: Despite losing staff ace Nick Waechter to graduation, pitching stands to be Roseburg's strength again this season. Senior right-handers Kerry Hall and Ryan Robinson return to the mound, and are joined by sophomore lefty Blake Keitzman and 6-foot-6 sophomore Eric Thompson. Those guys have to do a good job for us to be competitive, says Troy Thompson. Hall displays tremendous control and rhythm on the mound, while Robinson effectively hovers around the plate and Keitzman has more pop than most pitchers. ... Outfield is a question mark for the Indians, essentially putting a new cast out in the grass. Keitzman, Nelson, Clark and Walker should capably hold down those spots. We're inexperienced out there but have good athletes and kids who can run and go get the ball, says the coach. ... Buxton and Hall, both second-team all-SOC picks last year, will be Roseburg's main threats at the plate, with good things also expected out of Clagett, Mitchell and Clark. We'll be a gap-to-gap team and try to utilize some speed, Troy Thompson says. ... Defensively, the Indians' infield should be steady with anchors like Hall, Buxton and Clagett.

KLAMATH UNION

COACH:

Tim Simmers (third year)

LAST YEAR: 16-10, 8-6 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 3-2.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Sean AndersonCFSr.

Cory SpiresSS/1BSr.

Jeff TidwellP/SS/2BSr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Daniel BennettP/LFJr.

Bryan RogersCSr.

Cody BryanP/1BSr.

Kevin HuntleyP/1BJr.

Christian Anderson2B/OFJr.

Adam Cornachione3BSo.

Trevor StineOFSr.

Aaron MontgomeryOFFr.

Mark CruzP/UtilSo.

AT A GLANCE: As a four-year starter, Anderson will be asked to assume the leadership role Jon James so capably handled last year. As one of our senior guys and our leadoff hitter, he'll set the tone in ballgames for us, says Simmers. ... Anderson will be joined by Spires, Bennett and Rogers as the catalysts to a KU offense that didn't have a single home run last year but already has three this spring. We're going to have to manufacture runs again, says Simmers. We're the type of team that looks at a line drive, bloop single or drag bunt as the same in the scorebook. We'll take whatever comes our way. ... Right-handers Bennett and Tidwell return to the mound, with Bennett offering a steady fastball and willingness to throw an off-speed pitch at any time and Tidwell using more of a power approach. Daniel brings a lot of grit to the table, says Simmers. He's got a lot of heart and wants to be on the mound. ... Bryan was hit above the right eye on a comebacker against McMinnville recently and received six stitches. ... KU reached the state playoffs last year for the first time since 1992, bowing out in a second-round loss at home to Grant. ... Limited numbers at KU means a pitching change could bring about a handful of other moves to reset the lineup.

CRATER

COACH:

Jim Powell (second year)

LAST YEAR: 12-12, 6-8 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 1-2.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Dan WhiteheadCFSr.

Adam ReedSSSr.

Sean Teaters1B/PSr.

Kurtis KnutsonP/1BSr.

Joe KahutC/2BSr.

Gary GomesC/3B/OFSr.

Evan SeegmillerP/2BSr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Brad EvansOFSr.

Jeff WeissOF/SSJr.

Trevor WolterP/2BSo.

Charlie ReinaCFr.

AJ Herbold3B/PSr.

Nick RoseOFSr.

AT A GLANCE: Crater boasts 10 seniors and plenty of athletes, but finding the right spot for each has posed the biggest obstacle thus far. Were trying to find our way right now, says Powell, who is looking for his second straight trip to the state playoffs. You'd think with this many seniors you'd be set, but we're still moving players around. ... Reed, a first-team all-SOC infielder last year, took a ball in the eye recently and his return date is unknown. ... Speed will be the name of the game for the Comets, especially in the outfield with Whitehead, Weiss and Evans, a transfer from Weed, Calif. We cover a lot of ground between all three of those guys, says Powell. They can get into the gaps pretty quick. ... As the ace on a staff with all right-handers, Knutson boasts a sneaky fastball and can mix in a curveball or changeup to keep teams honest. I feel comfortable that no matter what game I put him in, Powell says, he can go the distance. ... Seegmiller and Teaters will split the No. 2 duties. ... Whitehead sparks the offense in the leadoff spot, with Weiss and Teaters as the lone left-handed bats. To compete in our league, everybody has to hit, says Powell. You can't have any dead spots.

GRANTS PASS

COACH:

Stacy Morgan (16th year)

LAST YEAR: 9-13, 5-9 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 2-3.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Patrick AllenCFJr.

Nolan MorganP/OFJr.

Matt Cowell3BSr.

Jack DomanOFSr.

Anthony SchaffP/OFJr.

Steve Draper2BJr.

Paul Fode1B/OFSr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Mike MillsSS/PJr.

Jim BlakeUtilSr.

Ryan Tuttle1B/DHSr.

Adam DonnellyCJr.

AT A GLANCE: Having to dismiss 10 players from the baseball program hindered Grants Pass last year, but Stacy Morgan says it might have been for the best as the Cavemen optimistically head into 2004. I think it's a closer-knit group of kids because we went through a pretty tough situation last year, he says. ... Allen will be looked to for leadership in his third year on varsity. The center fielder boasts a quick bat in the No. — spot and can spray the ball to all fields. He just continually wants to get better, says Morgan. He's always hanging around wanting to do more, and after a while he just wears you out. ... Nolan Morgan, the coach's nephew, will be relied upon as one of GP's top arms. He throws hard, and when he's around the plate doing his thing, he's a tough pitcher to handle, says Stacy Morgan. ... Mills, another right-hander, will share top pitching duties and has a knack for throwing strikes and working fast. Schaff and Fode, the team's lone lefty, also will see time on the mound. ... Cowell sparks the offense from the leadoff spot, with Fode, Draper, Tuttle, Mills and Morgan capable of taking the weight off Allen's shoulders at the plate. ... We've said all along that we get 21 outs, and if we play catch and throw strikes, we should be OK, says Stacy Morgan.

EAGLE POINT

COACH:

Tom Britton (26th year)

LAST YEAR: 11-14, 4-10 SOC.

CURRENT RECORD: 2-3.

RETURNING STARTERS

PlayerPos.Yr.

Ricky O'CallahanCSr.

Ron DepuyPSr.

Ryan AuginoSSJr.

OTHER NOTABLES

Nick Staller2BSo.

Derek Grieve1B/P/CSo.

AJ NicholsCFSo.

Juan Almaraz3B/PJr.

Logan RockDH/1BJr.

Kyle SnyderLFJr.

Steve WyattRFSr.

Brent SmithOF/UtilSr.

Joe MillerDH/CSr.

AT A GLANCE: If someone ever wanted to find the fountain of youth, Eagle Point might be a good place to start because the Eagles seemingly are eternally young. EP starts three sophomores and four juniors, and time will tell whether any more underclassmen are brought to the top level. All these younger kids are pretty good athletes, says Britton. They're being tossed into the fire a little early in some cases, but I think they can handle it. We're not going to roll over for anyone. ... O'Callahan is the unquestioned leader of the group. He's been behind the plate since his sophomore season and lettered as a freshman. He's definitely one of the top players in the league, says Britton. He's one of those throwback kids who hustles all the time and just thrives on baseball. He's one of those kids whose the first to show up and last to leave. ... EP's top pitcher, Depuy, left the team midway through last year to resolve personal matters but has returned to give the Eagles a steady presence on the mound as the lone southpaw. ... Grieve is expected to assume the No. 2 pitching role, with O'Callahan and Almaraz sprinkled into the mix. ... Augino's move to shortstop should be seamless, with the gifted glover also boasting the team's highest average (.444) last year.