Elco baseball season preview
Pitching, defense and senior All-County shortstop Travis Zimmerman will carry the Raiders this spring
Head coach: Chris Weidner, 18th season
Last year's record: 11-9, 8-8 Section Three
Key returners: Travis Zimmerman, Sr., SS; Cole Blatt, Sr., P; Aaron Deitz, Sr., 3B; Cole Miller, Jr., C-P; Nate Hostetter, Sr., OF; Ben Herb, Sr., P; Tyler Price, Jr., P; Kyle Rosengrant, Sr., 2B.
Promising newcomers: Cody Good, Sr., 1B; Hunter Witters, Jr., C; Travis Weaver, So., P-3B; Clay Hain, So., SS-OF-P; Joe Ginder, So., OF-P; Dane Miller, Jr., Util.
Outlook: The past two decades of Elco baseball have guaranteed one thing.
Overflowing with talent or starved of full-time ballplayers, the Raiders, without fail, are going to grind their way to a competitive showing. The upcoming 2016 season in Myerstown should be no different.
After taking an unexpected blow to its depth in the off-season, Elco marches on behind All-County shortstop Travis Zimmerman and a pitching staff of crafty hurlers headlined by Cole Blatt. Defending for Blatt and Co., will be a mix of Raider seniors and newcomers, including sophomore soccer transplants from the fall.
Their inexperience will be balanced by the likes of Zimmerman and double-play partner Kyle Rosengrant, who together will also serve as senior captains. The duo's ability to lead their club will only be matched in necessity by their ability to lead by example at the top of the order.
"We've really got to take advantage of taking the extra base and doing those things to maximize our chances of getting every run we can get a hold of," said Raiders skipper Chris Weidner, who's produced just two sub-.500 clubs in his 17 years. "For us, it really does come down to scratching out runs."
Scratching out runs, provided that defense and pitching are in place, because there's no need to worry that the tenacious, blue-collar approach will be back again in the home dugout of Lyle Krall Field.