Springfield baseball program continuing to make winning strides
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield baseball head coach Scott Swan said his team had a “successful, winning season” in 2012.
The Spartans finished 13-11 overall, including a 5-9 mark in the Portage Trail Conference (PTC).
“Our team has shown a steady improvement each of the four years that I have been the Spartans head coach, as we were 12-12 overall last year,” Swan said.
This year’s roster, which the coach described as “relatively young” overall, featured four seniors: Seth Robinson, pitcher and first baseman; Matt Thomas, first baseman and catcher; Brian Stanick, center fielder; and Cory Hornish, designated hitter and pinch hitter.
“They displayed great senior leadership all season long,” Swan stated. “This was a very special group, because they started with me as freshmen my first year at Springfield. They’ve helped build our program every step of the way. They will always have a special place in my heart because of the way they have conducted themselves on and off the field. I know that these young men will be successful in life because of their character and work ethic.”
No player on the Spartans had a better year than Robinson, Swan said.
“Seth was our leading pitcher with 60-plus innings, 100 strikeouts, a 4-3 record and a 1.51 ERA,” the coach said. “As a hitter, he had 32 hits, 28 RBIs and a .405 average. He made first-team All-PTC, was our team’s offensive player of the year and was the team MVP. He threw 203 strikeouts for his varsity high school career — quite an accomplishment.”
Also playing key roles for the team this season were a pair of underclassmen.
“Sophomores Michael Perkins, left field, and Shane Robinson, catcher/pitcher/third base, made Honorable Mention All-PTC,” Swan said. “Michael hit .383 and was our team’s defensive player of the year. Shane hit .371 and had a 3-1 pitching record.”
The team’s All-Heart Award was shared by Hornish and junior pitcher/second baseman Mitch Stubbs.
With a .296 team batting average and a 3.22 team earned run average, the Spartans were “pretty solid” both on the mound and at the plate this season, Swan said.
“We scored double digits in runs seven of our 24 games,” he said. “And our pitchers only walked 89 batters, while striking out 185. We had a nice rotation of Seth Robinson with four wins, Mitch Stubbs with four wins and Shane Robinson with three wins.”
According to Swan, the team’s strength was its “never-say-die attitude.”
“We won two very intense ball games that both came down to the wire,” he said. “We beat league rival Field 4-3 in extra innings when freshman third baseman Ryan Vaughn knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. And we beat crosstown rival Ellet 3-2 in front of a huge crowd on a Friday night under the lights at JEDD Park, when junior A.J. Rodrigues knocked in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. That was easily the biggest win for our program in my tenure here at Springfield.”
The Spartans’ season ended with a 3-0 sectional game loss to Marlington.
“But Seth pitched his heart out, striking out 15 batters that day,” Swan stated. “We just didn’t lend any run support against a tough left-hander.”
Swan — whose staff is comprised of varsity assistants Kevin Hall, Ed Rasnick and Mike Canavan and junior varsity (JV) coach Randy Jarvis — said the future is bright for the Springfield baseball program.
“Our [JV squad] played very well this year, and we got a good look at a few promising youngsters,” he said. “We are very excited about the direction our program is going and are looking forward to next season as we return eight everyday players and all but one of our pitchers.”
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