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MARION: Marion baseball looks to reload, partners with Centre

Staff writer

Marion High School’s baseball team has a lot of ground to cover if it hopes to make a third trip to the state tournament.

Seven starters graduated last year. Having a senior class of eight was a luxury; replacing it will be a chore.

“We reaped the benefits of having a good core group for two years when went to the state tournament back-to-back,” coach Roger Schroeder said. “Now it’s just time to reload.”

Schroeder says his team has all the right pieces; it’s just up to him to figure out which ones to use. Of the 26 players out for the team this year, 13 to 14 will really push for varsity time, Schroeder said. A loosening of rules means Schroeder will get more junior varsity games to develop his players.

Old rules limited players to 20 games, but now they can play 26, meaning Schroeder can give his players six more games of JV experience without having to worry about conserving younger players’ eligibility.

The Warriors have scheduled eight JV games, and also will have some reinforcements in the form of Cougars. Six students from Centre are out for the team, as Marion allowed Centre to merge with it for baseball.

“These kids have come with a very good attitude,” Schroeder said. “We have six of them, and all of them work extremely hard, and that’s really what we want.”

Schroeder said the Centre students haven’t quite assimilated, but the relationship is making progress and “has been great so far.”

Marion brings four seniors to the team: Bret Voth, Jacob Baldwin, Nathan Cyr, and Trevor Kruse.

Cyr is playing baseball for the first time since his freshman season. Shoulder surgery has kept him out. Schroeder said he’s working hard to get his arm back in baseball shape.

Kruse played last year for the first time in high school. He hadn’t played since youth ball, but that didn’t keep him from scoring the winning runs in both regional games last year.

“The boy can fly,” Schroeder said.

Baldwin and Voth, who were the only seniors on the basketball team, bring the most experience. Voth will be the team’s primary pitcher and play shortstop. Baldwin will play first base and pitch.

“We’re built differently this year,” Schroeder said. “We’re gonna have to create a little more on our own, whereas last year it was just, ‘Hey, let’s hit,’ and we could just flat out beat people. We’re still going to beat people. We’re going to be competitive in every game we play. We’re just going to be a lot different.”

Last modified March 25, 2015

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