Baseball team looks forward to competing against rivals

Baseball team looks forward to competing against rivals By Jim Prosser Vermillion High School�s baseball team is coming off a 2004 overall seven-win, 11-loss record and a fifth place finish in the conference.

They lost to Alcester/Hudson in the second round of the regional playoffs to end their season. Players who were lost to graduation were Collin Prosser (first base), Jared Burcham (inf.), and B.J. Campbell (of/P).

Tanager baseball coach Jason Gault, with assistants Nick Mayer and Garrett Hartwig, has a wealth of talented and experienced players on the 2005 edition of VHS baseball. They have seven starters from last year with six returning seniors and will dress 27 players for varsity and JV competition.

Kyle Mollet (senior) returns after a torn ACL ended his junior campaign and should boost Vermillion�s offensive production and solidify the middle infield. Ryan Mockler (senior) is the only returning outfielder and will be camped in left field and will provide solid numbers at the plate. Jordan Anderson (senior), Brandon Hansen (junior), and Eric McPherson (sophomore) will be battling for the Tanagers behind the plate, and senior Ben Oberle has been a mainstay at shortstop and will most likely be the VHS lead-off hitter.

Defensively, Zach Weiss (sophomore) returns to second base after a stellar freshman year, and the addition of Jeff Donnelly (sophomore) in the field will create depth and hustle.

On the mound, the Tanagers have an experienced rotation with three seniors: Jason Donald, Mollet, and Brad Schaack. Junior Sam Laprath, Bobby Dykstra (sophomore), Ryan Gilbertson (sophomore), and Reid Meierkort (freshman)will also play a role on the hill this season.

Other roster members are: Juniors John Gregg and Patrick Farrens; Sophomores Tyler Thedorff, Paul Hammond, Ryan Gilbertson, Kevin Brannon, and Chris Taylor; Freshmen Jason Freidel, Ryan Husby, C.J. Haakinson, Mike Ustad, Alex Schaack, and Jerrod Freidel.

The goal for the spring high school season is to compete favorably against region rivals and hope to challenge with a great showing in the tournaments. Besides its strong pitching, this year�s team will also be expected to run very well.

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