Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers baseball team short on varsity experience
The Delaware Hayes baseball team entered the season with room to grow.
On the Pacers’ 19-player roster, only senior center fielder Drew Williams, senior catcher Nick Wildman and junior shortstop Brennan Green have previous varsity experience.
Seventh-year coach Ryan Montgomery anticipates some early growing pains, but expects Delaware to round into form as the season continues.
“I can see us peaking later than sooner compared to an older team, because we had to replace a lot of spots and we only had three (players) coming back for us,” he said. “I think a lot of guys are still trying to figure it out a little bit.
“But I think we compete hard, we practice hard and I never fault our effort in anything we’re doing. So I’m really looking to see as the calendar flips into April and we get closer to conference play, us being more consistent with what we’re doing.”
The Pacers opened March 27 with a 7-6 loss at Olentangy and lost 10-0 at Thomas Worthington on March 29. Delaware opens OCC-Capital Division play April 14 at Big Walnut.
Williams, Wildman and Green along with senior pitcher Matt McGeath are expected to anchor the roster and serve as leaders of their position groups, Montgomery said.
With Green established at shortstop, the infield around him consists of junior Bryan Skedell at first base, junior Austin Dowell at third and senior Devon Pounds at second.
Freshman Bryden Decaminada will rotate at second and third, Montgomery said.
In the outfield, juniors Hunter Woolum and C.J. Holmes will play right and left field, respectively, with Williams in center.
McGeath is the No. 1 starter. Other key members of the pitching staff include Dowell and Decaminada as starters, with senior Cade Keeler and junior Braden Krauss working in relief.
“Once we get through those three starters, we kind of chunk innings two to three at a time and kind of staff it as we go,” Montgomery said. “We kind of rely on seven to eight guys to get us through three games.”
Coach: Ryan Montgomery, seventh season
Next game: April 5 at Marysville
Key players: Brennan Green, Matt McGeath, Nick Wildman and Drew Williams
Softball team ready
to tackle season
The softball team is dealing with a lack of varsity experience and a little bit of rust.
But after losing a season to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, 13th-year coach Mark Thomas said the Pacers were eager to get back on the field.
“We’ve had (four scrimmages) to so-called knock off that rust, and I think we’re ready to go,” said Thomas, whose team opened with a 14-11 loss to Watterson on March 29. “The girls were really excited to start back in February. Of course the three weeks we had before our scrimmages were pretty tough, getting the girls back to playing together, (but) they’re ready. They’re biting at the bit.”
Only senior Judea Wilson and juniors Myaih Cloud, Kami Slayton and Brianna Richey have varsity experience, and only Cloud and Slayton have experienced a full year of varsity play.
Despite that, Thomas said a league title is still the expectation. Delaware opens OCC-Capital play April 7 at Big Walnut.
“Our goals will never change. Our goal is still to win a league title,” Thomas said. “Our goal every game is to go out and compete and go for the win, especially home games. ...
“And this year, we (also) want to see what we can do in the (Division I district) tournament. Usually (the goal) is to win a district title, but being so young and everything we’re just going to wait for that and see what happens.”
Slayton will play shortstop and Wilson will play second, with junior Olivia Nelson and sophomore Lauren Tompkins at first and third, respectively.
Cloud will start behind the plate with junior Hope Clark and freshman Maddie Kiss in the circle.
Juniors Ashlee Bennett and Sara Steck will start in right and left field, respectively, with freshman Addy Tope in center. Richey also will see time in the outfield.
INSIDE THE PACERS
Coach: Mark Thomas, 13th season
Next game: April 5 vs. Dublin Jerome
Key players: Myaih Cloud, Kami Slayton, Addy Tope and Judea Wilson