‘Extremely young’ Goshen baseball team gears up for 2014

Published 4:08 pm Monday, December 16, 2013

Goshen’s Tyler Phillips first a ball to home during a drill Monday. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Goshen’s Tyler Phillips first a ball to home during a drill Monday. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

The Goshen Eagles battled cold and wet conditions Monday night in order to get a jump on the 2014 baseball season.

Goshen took infield and outfield practice, as well as worked on some of the finer points of the game during a near-two hour practice under the lights in Goshen.

Robby Kinsaul, Goshen head coach, said the fall evaluation time is important to every team in the state, but even more so to his 2014 squad.

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“We are extremely young this year,” Kinsaul said. “So these five days are big for us to work on some things fundamentally. That way we can hit the ground running on January 6.”

The Eagles will look for a returning core of upperclassmen to shoulder much of the load on the mound and at the plate.

Goshen returns two players that were 2013 All-Area honorable mentions, pitcher Bryant Stephens and infielder Tyler Phillips.

The Eagles also bring back third baseman Ty Witherington.

Kinsaul said the trio of returnees will have to pick up where the seniors of years past left off.

“They have been around this program for a long time,” Kinsaul said. “Tyler was in the seventh grade when I was hired as the JV coach, and we have been together since then. Guys like Carlton Bean, Russ Thomas, Seth Lolley, Dylan Leverette and Paul Messick laid the foundation for us, and its up to players like Bryant, Tyler and Ty to keep the process going.”

The Eagles open the 2014 season in the middle of February with a double-header against Straughn. Games against Elba, Highland Home, Luverne and defending 4A state champion Charles Henderson highlight the 20-game schedule.

The Eagles and Trojans will meet March 15 at Riddle-Pace Field on the campus of Troy University.

Kinsaul said he is excited to see what the new year has in store for his team.

“Anytime you come out here and toss it around a little, you get excited,” Kinsaul said. “We are excited to know that after Christmas we will be in to baseball season. For the first few weeks all you can do is throw and condition, but any day on the field is a good one in my book.”