FAIRFIELD — With the departure of 14 players to graduation, Fairfield High School baseball coach Tommy Begley said the Indians are an unknown, which could be a positive.
“Teams are going to look at our roster and really not going to see a lot to scout,” said Begley, who is entering his fourth season at the helm. “But that also means our guys have no idea what is coming either. We are basically a brand-new varsity team and that is exciting for our guys.”
Fairfield does return Cameron Tenhundfeld, a senior who will move from third base to shortstop and also pitch, as well as sophomore catcher Logan Murphy. But is it for measurable varsity experience.
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“Yes, this is a brand-new roster,” Begley said. “The guys are hungry. I am excited seeing so many new faces. Guys are competing, pushing each other, and I can’t wait to see how we do handling the daily grind competing in the Greater Miami Conference.”
Fairfield will have six seniors but four will be new to the program. Begley said the freshman and junior varsity teams had success last year, and those players will need to fill in.
Begley said the middle of his defense will be a strength with Murphy, Tenhundfeld and sophomore Colin Singer playing center field.
“Our middle defense will be sound,” Begley said. “We still have to figure out the rest of the outfield. We have a group of guys who can all play out there, and it might be a deal where we have a platoon situation in the outfield.”
Senior Zach Edwards can play right or left field, according to Begley, and he is counting on depth from juniors Dillon Beal and Damien Hendricks, as well as sophomores Blake Johnson and Nathan Sheriff.
Sophomore Ricky Berrios will play second base, and senior Aidan Post will handle first base.
Pitching is a question mark as well with Tenhundfeld penciled in as the No. 1, with junior Evan Verquer and senior Jarrett Hurst seeing significant time on the mound.
“We have some guys who can throw,” Begley said. “We are hoping the scrimmages show us who we can count on.”
Offensively, the Indians have some guys with power, but Begley said speed is what sets this team apart from past Tribe squads.
“I really like our team speed,” Begley said “This is the fastest team in my four years here. We are not a team who is going to knock the wall down, but we can run and that is always a good thing.”
With such a young team, Begley said focusing on getting better daily is the key, but that doesn’t mean he is writing off the GMC race.
“At Fairfield we are always focused on winning championships,” Begley said. “We have a tradition at Fairfield, and our expectations remain the same.”
The Indians’ roster is filled out with seniors Austin Vanoss and Caleb Schram, juniors John Warner, Michael Scranton, Gabe Bauman and Chris Medlock, and freshman Kemper Murray.
Fairfield opens the season at 1 p.m. on March 23 at Olentangy Berlin.