Kaysinger Conference baseball preview

March 19, 2011

Baseball coaches/athletic directors were sent a questionnaire to complete about the upcoming season. The Democrat will publish Sacred Heart’s preview later this week.


Coach: Todd Rusk, fifth year

2010 overall, conference records: 17-5, 5-0

Last district title: 1998


Who’s gone: Ron Herdman (Pratt Community College), Aaron Pitts (Missouri Valley College) and Andrew Yeager (Crowder College).

Who’s back: 1B Riley Henning (.286), C Zach Kollbaum (.397), UTIL Aaron Porter (.333), C/OF Brendan Rusk (.371, 23 RBIs) and CF Tyler Rusk (.582, 6 HR, 39 RBI).

Fresh faces: 2B/SS Conner Balke, 2B/SS Zach Heimsoth, OF Jared Gardner, UTIL Colin Kabler, UTIL Tanner Oelrichs and 3B Austin Weinberg.


Codi Eckhoff, Riley Henning and Aaron Porter.


The Bluebirds return a core of talented players and have some underclassmen who produced at the varsity level last season.


The Bluebirds’ pitching could be a concern because they must replace four starters. Of the Bluebirds’ three pitchers, they pitched a combined three innings last season.


Date    Opponent    Time

March 22    at California    5 p.m.

March 24    at Eldon    5 p.m.

March 28    at Fayette    5 p.m.

March 29    LINCOLN    5 p.m.

March 31    LA MONTE    5 p.m.

April 2    Cole Camp Classic    9 a.m.

April 4    WARSAW    5 p.m.

April 5    at Green Ridge    5 p.m.

April 7    at Windsor    5 p.m.

April 8    SMITHTON    5 p.m.

April 11    at Eugene    5 p.m.

April 12    at Tipton    5 p.m.

April 14    STOVER    5 p.m.

April 21    at Sacred Heart    5 p.m.

April 25    at Sherwood    5 p.m.

April 26    at Northwest    5 p.m.

April 30-May 5    Kaysinger tourn.

May 9    at Versailles    5 p.m.

May 10    at Lakeland    4:30 p.m.

May 12    SKYLINE    4:30 p.m.    


Coach: Will Lynde, 16th year

2010 overall record: 7-9

Last district title: 1990


Who’s gone: P Logan Treece (playing baseball at Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit).

Who’s back: Mason Belsha, Brandon Crawford, Austin Ridgway, Christian Smith, Bryson Waibel, Brock Young and Drake Young.

Fresh faces: Cody Bennefeld, Dalton Drexler and Devyn Strathman. Bennefeld didn’t play last year because of an injury, and Drexler and Strathman, both freshmen, have already been inserted into the starting lineup.


Cody Bennefeld, Austin Ridgway, Bryson Waibel, and Drake Young will anchor the pitching staff and help fill the void left by staff ace Logan Treece.


The Cardinals return seven players who started at one time or another last season, and Lynde likes his team’s pitching staff. Waibel will be the No. 1 starter.


The Cardinals have only 11 players on their roster, so depth could be a problem as the season progresses.


Date    Opponent    Time

March 21    HERITAGE    4:30 p.m.

March 28    WARSAW    4:30 p.m.

March 29    at Cole Camp    5 p.m.

March 31    GREEN RIDGE    5 p.m.

April 1    at Weaubleau    4:30 p.m.

April 2        at Cole Camp tournament

April 4    LAKELAND    4:30  p.m.

April 5    TIPTON    5 p.m.

April 7    at Smithton    5 p.m.

April 12    NORTHWEST    4:30 p.m.

April 14    LA MONTE    5 p.m.

April 18    at Osceola    4:30 p.m.

April 19    at Windsor    5 p.m.

April 21    STOVER    5 p.m.

April 26    at Sacred Heart    5 p.m.

April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.

May 9    CREST RIDGE    5 p.m.

May 10    at Macks Creek    4:30 p.m.

May 12    RUSSELLVILLE    5 p.m.


Coach: Seth Hutchison, first year.

2010 record: N/A

Last district title: 2004


Who’s gone: Zack Crooker and Luke Simmons.

Who’s back: 1B Terry Gerke, C Chance Hutchison, 3B Jack Parkhurst, 1B Sam Pettis, SS Michael Thompson, LF Andrew Underwood, 2B Blake Underwood, CF Cody Wicker and SS Quincy Wicker.

Fresh faces: Cortlen Austin and Tristen Reece.


Chance Hutchison, Jack Parkhurst, Michael Thompson, Blake Underwood, Cody Wiskur and Quincy Wiskur.


Seth Hutchison likes his team’s senior leadership and believes hitting will be what carries the team.


Besides their seniors, the Mustangs don’t have many strong arms. The depth and inexperience of the pitching staff behind ace Chance Hutchison could be a problem.


Date    Opponents    

March 21    at Bunceton

March 22    at Santa Fe

March 23    CONCORDIA

March 25    at Sweet Springs

March 28    SLATER

March 29    LA MONTE

March 31    at Windsor

April 4    at Crest Ridge

April 5    STOVER

April 6    at New Franklin


April 11    at Otterville

April 12    at Lincoln

April 13    LEETON

April 14    at Green Ridge

April 19    TIPTON

April 21    at Smithton

April 26    COLE CAMP

April 29    at Pilot Grove

April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.


Coach: Rich Pond, first year.

2010 overall record: 2-11

Last district title: 2005.


Who’s gone: Cody Walker.

Who’s back: UTIL Justin Carver, INF Ethan Marino, OF Austin Nowell, INF Zack Price and INF Cameron Westermier.

Fresh faces: Dane Apsher, Damien Hendricks, Beau Kratzer, Preston McMullen and Nick Moulton.


Ethan Marino and Zack Price will be the top team’s top two starters. Sean Loomis and Austin Nowell will work in relief roles.


Pond likes his team’s senior class, willingness to work hard and roster that goes 19 deep.


The Tigers will feature several positions with young, inexperienced players.


Date    Opponent    Time

March 21    at Concordia    4:30 p.m.

March 22    LEETON    4:30 p.m.

March 29    at Windsor    5 p.m.

March 31    STOVER    4:30 p.m.

April 1    at Otterville    5:30 p.m.

April 5    at Sacred Heart    5 p.m.

April 7    LINCOLN    4:30 p.m.

April 8    at Cole Camp    5 p.m.

April 12    GREEN RIDGE    4:30 p.m.

April 14    at Tipton    5 p.m.

April 21    NORTHWEST    4:30 p.m.

April 25    at New Franklin    5 p.m.

April 26    BUNCETON    4:30 p.m.

April 28    LA MONTE    4:30 p.m.

April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.

May 9    at Pilot Grove    5 p.m.

May 12    at Warsaw    4:30 p.m.


Coach: B.J. Adams, seventh year

2010 overall record: 9-9

Last district title: none


Who’s gone: P Tim Brown, 1B Chris LeClair, CF Jordan Quick,  SS Dillon Offield, C Landon Rymer and 3B Taylor Stanley

Who’s back: 2B Austin Beckman, OF Josh Scott and C Alex Thompson.

Fresh faces: Billy Ray Baker, Matthew Frisk, Joe Haynes, Danny Johanson, Brett Johnson, McKenzie Knuth, James Kreisel, Alex Newman, Randy Nolting, Trent Nolting, Taylon Payne, Rico Soto, Brett Tighe, Cody Van Vleck and Justin Wilson.


While the Bulldogs won’t have the talent and experience to compete for the conference championship, they have a chance to stay out of the cellar because Green Ridge and La Monte didn’t play baseball last season and will be starting from scratch.


The Bulldogs have seven seniors, but only three of them have started at the varsity level. Mostly underclassman and a few first-year seniors will filling those starting roles. The team has no returning pitchers.


Date    Opponent    Time

March 21    at Warsaw    4:30 p.m.

March 22    at Fayette    4:30 p.m.

March 25    OTTERVILLE    4:30 p.m.

March 28    at Climax Springs    4:30 p.m.

March 29    TIPTON    5 p.m.

March31    at Smithton    5 p.m.

April 1    MACKS CREEK    4:30 p.m.

April 5    at Northwest    5 p.m.

April 9    at Calvary Lutheran    3 p.m.

April 12    WINDSOR    5 p.m.

April 14    at Cole Camp    5 p.m.

April 18    at La Monte    5 p.m.

April 19    SACRED HEART    5 p.m.

April 21    at Lincoln    5 p.m.

April 26    RUSSELLVILLE    5:30 p.m.

April 28    GREEN RIDGE    5 p.m.

April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourney

May 5    CALVARY LUTH.    5:30 p.m.

May 6    ELDON    5 p.m.

May 9    CL. SPRINGS    4:30 p.m.

May 12    at Leeton    4:30 p.m.


Coach: Derek Skaggs, fifth year.

2010 overall record: 11-9

Last district title: none


Who’s gone: SS/CF Keil Allison.

Who’s back: C Cameron Backes, 1B/OF Cub Reckner, RF Rustin Bruce, CF Collin Nolting, SS Zach Knipp, LF Morgan Renfro, OF Michael Keirsey, 3B Colten Powell, 2B Riley Brant, 3B Wade Wood, 1B/C Zane Stover, OF Quinton DuBois and 1B Adam Zimmerman.

Fresh faces: INF Bryce Crowe, OF Clint Hodler, 1B/OF David Richardson and OF Blaise Stuedle.


Riley Brant, Collin Nolting and Wade Wood bring three veteran arms to the Cardinals’ staff, and David Richardson could add depth.


“We return everyone but one athlete from last year,” Skaggs said. “We had a very solid summer, beating some Class 3 and 4 ballclubs. We hit the ball well as a team, but there is always room for improvement. Our defense is solid as is our pitching.”


“We have to eliminate walks from our pitchers and continue to improve our outfield along with our” sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth spots in the lineup, Skaggs said.


Date    Opponent

March 28    at Bunceton

March 29    at Stover



April 5    at Lincoln

April 7    GREEN RIDGE    

April 8-9    Iberia tournament

April 12    COLE CAMP

April 14    SMITHTON

April 15-16    Versailles tournament

April 18    at Sacred Heart

April 19    at Northwest

April 21    at La Monte

April 25    WINDSOR

April 28    at Tuscumbia

April 29    at Versailles

April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.

May 9    at Russellville

May 10    at St. Elizabeth


Coach: Brad Forrest, eighth year

2010 overall record: 7-7

Last district title: 2004


Who’s gone: 3B Derek Riggs and DH Codi Moon.

Who’s back: CF Daniel Sanders (.340, 20 R, 19 RBI, 16 SB)  2B/CF Dillon Johnson (.436, 25 R, 14 RBI, 26 SB), 1B Ryan Hamilton (.354, 19 R, 16 SB) , RF Chase Drenon, LF/2B Trenton Scott and OF/C Zane Anstine (.304).

Fresh face: C Mason Briggs is competing for starting job.


Daniel Sanders (43 IP, 4 W, 3.42 ERA, 51 K, 19 BB), Dillon Johnson (19 IP, 4.05 ERA, 19 Ks), Lane Soendker, Trevor Warlen and Chase Drenon.


The Greyhounds expect to be a high-scoring team. “We’ve got everybody coming back on offense who contributed last year,” Forrest said. “I’ve been happy with the young kids and how they’ve been hitting the ball.” The Greyhounds return staff ace Daniel Sanders and feature five others with varsity experience.


The one thing that could hold the Greyhounds back is defense.


Date    Opponent    Time

March 22    OSCEOLA    4:30 p.m.

March 24    LEETON    4:30 p.m.

March 25    at Crest Ridge    4:30 p.m.

March 29    SMITHTON    5 p.m.

March 31    NORTHWEST    5 p.m.

April 1    at Lakeland    5 p.m.

April 4    WENTWORTH    4:30 p.m.

April 5    at La Monte    5 p.m.

April 7    COLE CAMP    5 p.m.

April 8-9        Marshall tournament

April 11    at Kingsville    4:30 p.m.

April 12    at Stover    5 p.m.

April 14    SACRED HEART    5 p.m.

April 19    LINCOLN    5 p.m.

April 21    GREEN RIDGE    5 p.m.

April 26    at Tipton    5 p.m.

April 29    at Osceola    5 p.m.

April30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.

May 9    at Concordia    4:30 p.m.

May 10    WARSAW    4:30 p.m.


Coach: Paul Fletcher, fourth year

2010 record: 0-0, no team last year

Last district title: 2001


Who’s back from 2009: Michael Bowman, Clint Sullivan and Brett Thomas.

Fresh faces: Beau Franklin, Brady Franklin, Axton Harding, Spencer Needy, Ben Scotten and Zak Tylar.


Beau Franklin and Brett Thomas.


Fletcher said that having a team this season is a cause for excitement. He likes his team’s pitchers and outfield play.


The Tigers will count heavily on three freshmen to play key positions this season.


Date    Opponent    Time

March 22    at Concordia    4:30 p.m.

March 24    KINGSVILLE    4:30 p.m.

March 29    at Leeton    4:30 p.m.

March 31    at Lincoln    5 p.m.

April 6    COLE  CAMP    5 p.m.

April 7    at Tipton    5 p.m.

April 11    ST. PAUL    4:30  p.m.

April 12    at Smithton    5 p.m.

April 14    NORTHWEST    5 p.m.

A15-16         Calvary Lutheran tourn.

April 19    LA MONTE    5 p.m.

April 21    at Windsor    5 p.m.

April 25    SACRED HEART    5 p.m.

April 28    at Stover    5 p.m.

April 30-May 6    Kaysinger tourn.

May 9    OTTERVILLE    4:30  p.m.


Coach: Curtis Walk, first year

2010 record: 0-0; no team in four years.

Last district title: 1996


Seth Johnson, Christian Arroyo and Aaron Durham.


The Vikings will be young and inexperienced, and much will be learned about the team once the season begins.


“We have some freshmen who have played summer ball and you can tell,” Walk said, and “some of the older kids still have a lot of baseball left in them.”


“It’s just hard laying off baseball for so long and coming right back out to play,” Walk said. “We are a young team. We have 17 kids with no seniors.”


Date    Opponent

March 24    at KC Lutheran

March 28    KINGSVILLE

March 29    at Northwest

March 31    at Cole Camp

April 5    WINDSOR

April 7    at Wentworth

April 11    at Stover

April 12    SACRED HEART

April  14    at Lincoln

April 18    Mid-State tournament

April 21    TIPTON

April 28    at Smithton

April 30-May 7    Kaysinger tourn.

May 14    District tournament