GREENCASTLE -- With opening day rapidly approaching, the Greencastle Tiger Cubs' baseball team is hoping to improve on its 12-11 record from a year ago with the help of five seniors.
Seniors Zac Remsburg, Erick Burgeson, Andrew Ensor, Derrik Patterson, and Michael Richardson are all returning for their final season and each will look to do their best to lift the Tiger Cubs into sectional contention. A feat that coach Troy Greenlee feels they are very capable of.
"Remsburg is a contact hitter who gives teams problems once he gets on," Greenlee said.
He also believes that Richardson, Burgeson and Hayden all have the same ability to keep teams on their toes.
"We feel that everyone in our lineup can be an offensive threat in their own way," Greenlee continued. "If things work out, guys like Kendall Faust, Patterson, Ensor, Kyle Nobles, Blake Robinson and Austin Miller will have opportunities to drive them home."
Another plus for Greenlee is a crop of young talent that could add another element to the Tiger Cubs' arsenal.
"I hope Nobles has a big impact,"Greenlee responded. "He is fundamentally sound, both at the plate and in the field. He has very good size and strength and hopefully will add an element that we have lacked the last few years."
That element is namely the deep ball. Nobles looks like a monster on the practice field standing 6-foot-3 and Greenlee talked up his pitching as well as his hitting.
Pitching for the Tiger Cubs will primarily be Patterson. Patterson is coming off a season that saw him throw for 48 strikeouts in 53 innings pitches on his way to a 3.94 earned run average. Burgeson will also be on the mound for GHS. Last season he tallied 46 strikeouts in only 38 innings pitched.
On offense, the five returning seniors combined for a .278 batting average, 49 RBI, and five home runs on the season. Patterson and Burgeson led the team in homers with two apiece.
When looking for leadership, Greenlee will look to his five seniors and one junior.
"Our leaders are our seniors," he said. "Junior Kendall Faust will be asked to be a leader on the field due to his position (catcher)."
GHS finished last season one win over .500 and 6-6 (3rd place) in conference play, but Greenlee and his squad hopes to set a foundation that will point them in the direction of their goals.
"I don't know if I can predict wins and losses; our goal is to compete for a conference, county, and sectional," Greenlee said, "Hopefully it will progress to the point that we are playing our best at sectional time."
Greencastle starts its season at home April 2 at 5 p.m. against North Putnam.