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Dirigo baseball team preview
DIXFIELD -- Over the past few seasons, the level of expectations have been extremely high surrounding the Dirigo baseball team and this spring will be no exception because there is plenty to go around. Exactly how far the Cougars will be able to go lies directly in the players abilities to execute.
Still, the program has developed a winning tradition, but at the same time, the players realize that nothing can be taken for granted. Last spring, the Cougars lost the first game of the season to St. Doms and then won 19 straight, including the state championship.
"I think our offense and defense will be as good if not better then last year,'' said coach Ryan Palmer. ''We will use our team speed and play small ball to manufacture runs"
The seniors will play an important role, led by TJ Frost (CF, 1B), Hunter Ross (SS, 2B), Robbie Babb (ULT), Spencer Trenoweth (OF, P), Brett Whittemore (2B), Nick Young (OF) and Justin Chartier (OF). Gabe Neverette (OF) is new. The loss of senior Chad Snowman really hurts (ACL surgery). "Losing Chad really hurts this team,'' said Palmer. ''He was one if the best, if not the best all around player we had."
Junior Jack Brown is vying for time at first base, while classmate Brian Volkernick will be expected to handle the catching duties. It will be vital for Volkernick to provide solid defense and work well with the pitchers.
Tyler Frost (3B, P) and Kaine Hutchins (IF, P) each made impacts as freshmen last year. Other sophomores who have shown promise include, Mitch Kubesh (2B, SS), Nick St. Germain (1B), Anthony Todd (1B, OF) and Cody Dolloff (2B, SS). The new faces will set several goals and must work hard because the spring season is very short.
Dirigo graduated four starters, Ben Holmes, Cody St. Germain, Caleb Turner and Jake Dowland.
"I'm hoping the pitching comes around,"said Palmer, regarding Trenoweth, Kaine and Tyler Frost. '''They have to understand that Ben Holmes will not be taking the mound this year. Someone has to step up and become the ace of the staff."
Freshman lefy Gavin Arsenault (OF, P) could be a surprise.
"We have a lot of baseball talent on this team. Some of our subs would start on most MVC teams. It's a good problem to have," said Palmer.