GREENCASTLE -- The South Putnam baseball team is coming off a season where they captured a sectional title and will look to add to their success under new head coach Ryan Gilman.
The Eagles were in great spirits at their recent practice on a beautiful March day, something the team didn't get a lot of in their off-season workouts.
Gilman said his team has been working on the basics in preparation for their season.
"We haven't had a whole lot of practice yet, but they're competing and doing stuff fundamentally sound and doing the things we ask them to do," Gilman said. "It's kind of nice having a JV this year. We have a bunch of guys, so we're working at getting guys playing time and develop for next year as well.
"We've been doing a lot of throwing, a lot of soft toss, a lot of fundamental batting drills and then working on the fundamentals of fielding, throwing, double-play flips -- the fundamentals that we can control being inside," he added. "A lot of the preseason stuff is all inside, so you can't do a whole lot. You're kind of limited in what you can do. But we've done pretty well. We've had good numbers for that, which is good, so they'll be able to step right in and be ready to go."
The most glaring hole in the field for South Putnam will be on the mound. Last year, Noah Boswell was the Eagles' ace, but this year Gilman will be looking at a stable of pitchers to get the job done.
"We lost Noah Boswell, who was a good pitcher, a good one," he said. "Grant Zimmerman should be able to hopefully step up and take the number one spot and then it's kind of open from there. We have a lot of guys throwing. Derek Dean is in the process. Cameron Chestnut, Aaron Parker, John Spencer -- we have a lot of guys, we just don't have a lot of experience as far as number two.
"Grant, he was the number two last year. He threw really well for us last year, so hopefully we can get the same kind of performance from him and I think we will too," Gilman said.
Seniors Chestnut, Dean, Spencer, Nathan Welty and Drew Cash will anchor the team.
When the talk of last season's success came up, Gilman said he hopes their good fortunes continue.
"Hopefully we can pick up where we left off there. Still work on the little things that we need to work on. Try to hit more line drives instead of pop flies, trying to take the ball the other way when they pitch on the outside corner, keeping our weight back and everything like that. Hopefully we can keep going with what we did last year," Gilman commented.
Gilman also spoke about the expectations he has for his team and for his Eagles it's going to be a game at a time.
"Really we're just taking it one game at a time," Gilman said. "We're not really looking past anybody. (We) start off with Cloverdale's the first one in the way, so we're trying to just take it one game at a time.
"As far as expectations, I'm not looking necessarily at expectations, I just want us to go out and compete every game," he continued. "If we do that, we'll be satisfied. We'll be happy with where we're going.
"I think if we go out and compete, we'll be in a lot of games and then the rest of it -- being classy on and off the field will also be what we're looking for as well. I'm not necessarily looking at win-loss record, because I think that puts too much on the kids and everything. I just want to go out and compete every game and go from there," Gilman concluded.
The Eagles will open their season Monday at home against South Putnam at 4:30 p.m.