HALL OF FAME
2013 BASEBALL PREVIEW: Tigers want to make history
March 12, 2013Bardstown High School
Bardstown Tigers baseball preview
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm
Most coaches have high expectations for their teams as prepare for a new season, but Bardstown baseball coach Glenn Koger has set the bar awfully high for his 2013 squad, with a goal of breaking the longstanding Bardstown single-season wins record.
Only once has Bardstown won as many as 17 games — in 1988 with Koger as a key member of what turned out to be the only 19th District team to ever capture a regional title.
“Coach has repeated it to us over and over. He reiterates the point that we have the team that can be the one to do it,” senior pitcher Dillon O’Daniel said. “We have a good group of seniors that have been together for several years.”
Koger isn’t predicting a regional championship, but thinks he has the talent to win at least 17 games.
“We have improved our record every year that I have been here,” he said. “I told the kids that we can win 17 games this year and that’s what we’re shooting for.”
The fifth-year coach thinks he has the pitching staff that can lead that charge and improve on their 11-24 record.
“We have our top three pitchers back from last year and that is key to having a good high school baseball team,” he explained. “A strong pitcher who can get past the first five or six hitters in the opposing team’s lineup can go a long way. Junior Shunta Muto and O’Daniel both had earned run averages under 4.00 last year.”
Muto was the ace of last year’s team as he posted a 6-4 record along with two saves. He tossed two shutouts en route to giving up only 1.97 earned runs per outing. He pitched 54 2/3 innings while striking out 68 batters and only giving up 15 free passes.
One of several fifth-year starters for Koger, Muto was chosen as the 5th Region sophomore representative to a Kentucky All-Star team. Several small Division I schools are already inquiring about him.
“He will play shortstop for us when he’s not pitching,” said Koger. “He’s a very solid hitter as he batted .387 last year.”
Southpaw O’Daniel was only 2-4 on the mound last season, but nevertheless posted an impressive 3.41 ERA. O’Daniel will play either center field or first base when not on the rubber and hit .362 last season.
Senior Matt Bond pitched a no hitter for the Tigers against Burgin in 2012 and rounds out the rotation. He was 2-3 last year with 4.37 ERA. Bond will start in right field when he is not on the mound.
While the pitching rotation is solid, their batterymate is in question as Bardstown is uncharted territory has it looks to replace the graduated Devin Riffe.
“Those are going to be the biggest hole that we have to fill,” Koger said. “I figured it up the other day and Devin was my starting catcher for 116 of the 118 games that I’ve coached here. Not only that, but he was such a great leader.”
Andrew Gordon will split time with O’Daniel at first base and will also play right field. Koger added that he will see time on the mound.
Four time captain/five year starter Jonathan Greer will play second base and move over to shortstop when Munto pitches.
“He is our vocal leader and he is our leader by example,” his coach said. Senior Lincoln Doan will start at third base.
“ Doan has the quickest hands hitting of any player on our team,” said Koger.
Freshman Patrick Walsh and 8th grader Santrel Farmer will see extensive time in the outfield. Each player saw limited time last season when the injury bug struck the Tigers. Keanu Young has not played baseball since the seventh grade but Koger expects the sophomore who quarterbacked the football team to make contributions to the team.
“He has a ton of talent and once he gets his timing down, he is going to be able to help us.”
Koger hopes that his program has turned the corner, but he readily admits that their chances for a 19th District championship must go through crosstown rival Bethlehem.
“I think they have to be the favorite to repeat as district champions, especially since they have several returning players. They beat us five times last season. ” he said. “Nelson County should have a nice team. I don’t know a lot about Thomas Nelson. Washington County graduated a bunch of seniors but they have a strong junior varsity program.”