2017 Girard Baseball Preview

Girard begins the 2017 season with a home date against McDonald.

Girard Indians High School Baseball - Girard, Ohio

2017 Girard Baseball Preview
Head Coach: Aaron Alejars
2016 Record: 11-15

Key Returnees
David Blackmon, 1B/3B (JR)
Tyler O’Dell, P/CF (JR)
Austin Claussell, SS/P (SO)
Nick DeGregory, 3B/P (SO)
Brady Hunkus, P/OF (SO)
Aidan Warga, 2B/C (SO)

Strengths
Last year, Girard’s lineup saw four freshmen and three sophomores in the fold often. Obviously, with the return of seven lettermen who gained valuable experience last Spring should only benefit the team as a whole. Sophomore Nick DeGregory was honored last year by being named to the First-Team All-League as a freshman. DeGregory led the team in hitting (.359), on-base percentage (.475), base hits (23) and doubles (5). He also gave the Indians a strong arm as he started 7 games as he tallied an earned run average of 2.62 in 37.1 innings of work while striking out 39 batters. Junior David Blackmon and sophomore Austin Claussell took Second-Team honors. Blackmon finished second on the team in hitting (.357 BA) while Claussell closed out 2016 in third place with a .297 average (22-78). Tyler O’Dell is back in the starting lineup for the third consecutive year as just a junior. O’Dell pitched in 14.1 innings and compiled a 1.95 ERA.

Coach Alejars points out, “we’ll need to rely on small ball, timely hitting and good base running from an offensive perspective.” In recent years, Girard has been shown to be adept to taking an extra base. In 2014, the Indians stole 126 bases as a team (led by Jim Standohar’s 37). In 2015, Kyle Harris led the team with 33 stolen bases to help Girard to 92 in 28 games. Just last year, the Tribe took 58 extra bases led by the tandem of Dominic Gainey (16) and Tyler O’Dell (11). Alejars also noted, “we should be better defensively with a lot of guys returning with experience.”

Weaknesses
Girard lost a handful of seniors from last year’s 11-win team including Dominic Gainey (.265 BA, 23 runs) and Troy Trumbetta (3-4 in 40 IP). “We will be young again without any seniors,” states Alejars, “although, last year we played four freshmen and three sophomores often”. Coach Alejars points to pitching depth as a weakness entering camp. In addition to Trumbetta, the team also a couple of arms from last year’s club which gave them multiple innings at a time. The team saw their earned run average go from 3.11 (in 2015) to 4.95 in 2016.

2016 Leaders
Batting Average: Nick DeGregory – .359 (23-64)
On-Base Percentage: Nick DeGregory – .475
Runs Scored: Dominic Gainey – 23*
Base Hits: Nick DeGregory – 23
Doubles: Nick DeGregory – 5
Homeruns: Tyler O’Dell – 1
Runs Batted In: David Blackmon & Austin Claussell – 19
Stolen Bases: Dominic Gainey – 16*

Earned Run Average: Tyler O’Dell – 1.95 (14.1 IP)
Wins: Troy Trumbetta*, 3-4 & Nick DeGregory, 3-2
Innings Pitched: Troy Trumbetta – 40.0*
Strikeouts: Nick DeGregory – 39
Saves: Tyler O’Dell – 1
*-Graduated

2017 Schedule
Mar. 25 – McDonald, 1
Mar. 27 – at Struthers, 5
Mar. 28 – at Champion, 5
Mar. 30 – Champion, 5
Mar. 31 – at Springfield, 5
Apr. 3 – Campbell Memorial, 5
Apr. 4 – at Campbell Memorial, 5
Apr. 10 – at Brookfield, 5
Apr. 11 – Brookfield, 5
Apr. 12 – Canfield, 5
Apr. 13 – Columbiana, 5
Apr. 15 – Hubbard, 12
Apr. 17 – East, 5
Apr. 18 – at East, 5
Apr. 21 – at Howland, 5
Apr. 22 – Southeast (DH), 12 & 2
Apr. 24 – at Liberty, 5
Apr. 25 – Liberty, 5
Apr. 26 – at Brookfield, 5
Apr. 27 – at Struthers, 5
Apr. 28 – at Niles, 5
May 1 – LaBrae, 5
May 2 – at LaBrae, 5
May 4 – Lakeview, 5
May 8 – Newton Falls, 5
May 9 – at Newton Falls, 5

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