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Springfield baseball team strong in varsity experience

3/20/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — Head coach Scott Swan said this year’s Springfield High School baseball team features nine players with varsity experience.

“That’s quite a bit, and more than we’ve had in the past,” he said.

According to the coach, this year’s squad is led by a trio of seniors. Those players (with comments by Swan) are:

  • Brendon Howiler: “He’s a returning outfielder for us, and he also possibly could do some designated hitting, too. He batted .481 last year, so he had a real nice season at the plate.”
  • Michael Perkins: “Last year, he was selected second team all-league. He played left field for us last year and he’ll do that this year, or he might even move over to center field. Last year, he hit .418.”
  • Shane Robinson: “Shane will split some time between catching, pitching and the outfield. He does a little bit of everything, and he has a really strong arm, so he’s a good player to have at any of those positions.”

Springfield will be led on the mound by junior ace Collin Floyd.

“He made first team all-league last year as a pitcher,” Swan said. “He won four games for us, had two saves and a 1.65 ERA. He struck out 84 batters in just over 46 innings,” the coach said. “At the plate, he hit .483, so he’s an all-around player. He plays first base when he doesn’t pitch.”

In addition, Swan noted, three returning juniors are expected to play key roles for this year’s team.

“Sean Rosen is a shortstop who made second team all-league last season. He batted .396 and he had 30 RBIs and led the team in runs with 37,” the coach said. “Ryan Vaughn is another excellent ballplayer with experience. He made honorable mention all-league last year. He’ll be playing third base and doing a little bit of pitching for us this year. He batted .338 last year. Racco DiLauro will be playing in the middle infield — some second base and possibly some shortstop — and he’ll also be pitching for us. Last year, he was new to the team. We are looking for him to step it up and be an everyday player for us this year.”

Swan said Springfield’s outfield figures to be “very strong” this season.

“With Michael Perkins and Brendon Howiler returning, and both being seniors, and with Shane Robinson also playing a little bit out there, and also being a senior, outfield will definitely be a strength,” he said. “We also have sophomore Aaron James, who has great speed and a great arm. He was actually varsity quarterback this year as a sophomore. He’s a great athlete, and he’ll also be in the outfield mix this year.”

Last year, Springfield had a 16-10 overall record and finished in fourth place in the Portage Trail Conference with an 8-6 mark.

“We had a real nice team batting average last year — we hit .361 — and we have a majority of our strong hitters back. Our No. 2 through 6 hitters are returning, so we should do pretty well offensively,” Swan said. “And with Collin Floyd back, our No. 1 pitcher should be as strong as anybody’s in the league. He’s a big left-hander who goes 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 and about 200 pounds. He throws hard and he’s pretty dominant.”

Springfield’s 2014 season will get underway March 29 at 11 a.m. at Firestone High School, and Swan said his team has the ability to improve upon last season’s results.

“Looking back on last year’s schedule, I think there’s a chance that we could have won two or three more games,” he said. “We just need to stay away from injuries and everyone needs to do as well or even better than they did last year. So I think it’s quite possible we can improve on 16 wins, and I really think we can improve on our record in the league from last year. I think we have a chance to be in league contention, and that’s definitely a goal.”

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