Berkeley Springs High School Baseball preview
Second-year Berkeley Springs High School Baseball Coach Ron Bittinger has his sights set on a sectional title, and more, in 2012.
"It starts with a sectional championship," said Bittinger of his team goal. “We lost 6-5 to Frankfort in the sectional title game last year and that left a bad taste in our mouths. We don't want that to happen again. Ultimately we want to earn a trip to the state playoffs. I think that every team aspires to that, but I truly believe we have the talent to reach that goal."
Many baseball observers believe that strong pitching is the most important ingredient to achieving success. If that holds true, the Indians should be in great shape, with three of their top hurlers returning and ample depth to boot.
"We are going to rely heavily on our strength and that is pitching," Bittinger said. “Jared Spielman, Brady Spielman and Tyler Holt give us a very strong three-man rotation. All three are very capable and Kaleb Athey gives us a quality fourth starter. He and Brett Fultz give us depth and will play important roles coming out of the bullpen."
When asked what the team needed to improve most, Bittinger said, that the Indians must take better advantage of their scoring opportunities this season.
"We didn't do a good job of hitting in the clutch last year," said Bittinger. “We are going to a 'small ball' team and will need to manufacture runs when we get guys into scoring position. We lost five very good bats in TJ Lambert, Andrew Rickli, Alex Lake, Cohen Hovermale and Kevin Close. They produced a lot of runs and we will need someone to step up. We have to be smart on the base paths and play solid defense. I think we are going to be in a lot of low scoring games, so we have to take advantage of our opportunities."
Bittinger is encouraged with what he has seen thus far and is anxious to get things going.
"We have a great group of kids that are eager to get things started," Bittinger said. “They come to practice with a positive attitude and work hard. We are looking forward to the upcoming season and hope that it ends on a high note."
Although the starting lineup isn't set in stone, it is likely to include: Jared Spielman (P, OF), Zane Mokhiber (3B, SS), Brady Spielman (1B, P), Scott Hessler (C), Zach Wise (OF), Kaleb Athey (2B, P, OF) and Tyler Holt (P, IF).
Wise, Athey and both Spielman's, along with Kyle Appel, are on the boys basketball team and will be unavailable the first few games, until they complete the number of practices required by the WVSSAC.
Berkeley Springs quest for a championship begins tomorrow, March 15, in Moorefield. Saturday they play at Frankfort, before hosting Musselman on March 19 and Bishop Walsh on March 20.
Seniors - Bradley Kidwell, Anthony LaFollette, Brady Spielman, Zane Mokhiber, Ryan Songer and. Brady Crane.
Juniors - Zach Wise, Tyler Holt, Kaleb Athey, Kyle Appel, Jacob Golden, Scott Hessler, Noah Sipe, Colton Brandenburg and Jared Spielman.
Sophomores - Colin McPeak, Colten Ganoe, Preston Hovermale, Brett Fultz, Tyler Zinzow and Dalton Redick.
Freshmen - Brandon McCumbee, Levi Barney, Cameron Johnson, Brandon Krawczyck, Ben Solomon, Cody Morris and Eric DuCellier.
Head Coach -Ron Bittinger, Asst. Coach-Jeremy Brock and JV Coach-Kenny Mason.