Wildcats baseball team returns starting line-up
With everyone back on the starting line-up, sans two seniors from last year, the Paden City High School Wildcat baseball team looks primed and ready to take the Ohio Valley by storm this season.
“We improved much last year and were much more competitive,” said veteran Head Coach Brent Croasmun. “We now have some veteran players with a lot of varsity experience. On paper, we look like a pretty solid baseball team.”
The loss of seniors Kyle Postlethwait and Tyler Stackpole to graduation left gaps in the pitching rotation and outfield, but will eagerly be filled by anxious players waiting for the call to move up.
The ‘Cats will return four senior lettermen in Zach Heasley, Levi Meadows, Craig Allen, and Kennedy Cain, of which three will be in the pitching rotation-Heasley, Meadows, and Allen. Cain will hold down his spot as a very capable left fielder and when not on the mound, Heasley will go to first, Meadows to second, and Allen to center field.
Juniors returning with experience include Luke Cooper, Isaac Hall, Michael Wilcox, and Andrew Dennis. Cooper and Hall will, of course, be part of the pitching rotation, while Wilcox returns as the starting catcher and Dennis to right field. Cooper will hold down third or first base while not on the mound and Hall will also see time at third, short, and second.
Hayden Hizer returns as the only sophomore starter, playing at short stop and seeing time on the mound.
Jake Pierce and Aaron Heasley will be looked at for starting positions in the outfield.
Freshman competing for starting positions will be Rander Amos, Brandon Snyder, Kolton Elliott, and Marcus Allen. For now, all are seeing time in the outfield with a look at the infield from time to time.
“We have nine pitchers on our roster right now,” Croasmun said. “We’ll try to establish three starters, middle relief and hopefully, find a closer.
“We have the entire starting line-up from last year back, along with some promising freshmen.”
Last year the Wildcats were Sectional runners-up to Magnolia, a scenario the team would like to turn around in their favor this season. “We have upgraded our schedule this year to help prepare us for tournament time,” the coach said. “We added Madonna and Linsly because some of the best class A teams in the state are in our area between Weirton and Parkersburg.”
“Our sectional tournament will be a great challenge as we face Magnolia and Cameron.”
Paden City will begin their season on March 25 at home, hosting the Bishops of Bishop Donahue at 5 p.m. The team will hit the road to Cameron on March 26 and host Clay-Battelle at home on March 27.[TABULATED_DATA]