Despite loses, baseball keeping steady
The Hillsboro High School baseball team lost a four-year pitcher, an all-state first baseman, and its primary catcher from 2013, but head coach Doug Dick thinks their replacements can fit the bill.
“We’ve got some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to see what these guys bring,” Dick said.
The biggest question mark will be at catcher, where juniors David Dick and Jakob Hanschu will split time replacing Lucas Sinclair. Hanschu was an all-league outfielder in 2013, so he may spend less time catching.
Even though the two are largely untested as catchers in varsity action, coach Dick said they have been honing their skills and should improve as the season progresses.
Sophomore Austin Cross was unable to play last season because of stress fractures in his vertebrae, but Dick says he is a good pitcher, clocked throwing around 84 miles per hour during the fall.
Dylan Nelson, a left-handed sophomore pitcher, saw time last year and is throwing harder than he did last season.
Seniors Cody Delk and Jordan Faul will also pitch some. Dick said the team will lean on Delk and Faul — the team’s only seniors.
Faul is a three-year letter winner that earned all-league honors each year he’s played. Batting around .400 each year, Dick said the utility player plays smooth and excels in the middle infield.
Though Delk had shoulder surgery and did not play in 2013, Dick expects him to contribute as the starting shortstop.
In addition, junior Micah Allen returns as a two-year starter in the outfield, and Justus Hilliard will play shortstop and third base in his first season with the Trojans.
Dick said a tough league schedule should set the Trojans up for a strong showing in postseason play.
Most of the teams in Hillsboro’s league are 4A, while the Trojans get their first taste of 2A action this year.
“I don’t think we’ll see pitching as good in our regional as we will in our league,” Dick said. “Hopefully that’ll be to our benefit come postseason.”