After qualifying for sectional play last year for the first time in several seasons, the boy’s baseball team is looking to return to the postseason again this year.
Second-year head coach Jason Hoagland said the team has the potential to build upon last season’s success.
“Our goal is to make sectionals again. We started building something last year and we’re going to keep building on that,” Hoagland said.
Perennial favorite Fort Ann looks well-equipped to challenge for a league title again this season and Hartford should field a very strong ball club, but Hoagland said his team has the potential to play with both of those teams.
Whitehall played tough against both last year and could have walked away with victories if not for some late miscues. But with an improved defense and several standout players returning from last year, the team is hoping to eliminate those errors.
Brett Christian is the team’s undisputed ace and has emerged as a team leader in his senior season.
“In my opinion Brett is one of the best pitchers in the league. He went to toe-to-toe with some of the best pitchers in the league and kept us in each one of those games,” Hoagland said. “He’s been showing some great leadership. He’s been one of the first ones here and he’s been carrying the equipment after practice. His leadership has been unbelievable.”
The team should be in every game Christian pitches, but the team’s success will ultimately hinge on several younger pitchers.
Juniors Dillon Griffin and Carl Rehm, and freshman Justin Hoagland will look to fill out the back end of the rotation.
Hoagland says all three are capable of performing well but are unproven at the varsity level. “They are going to need step for us.” If they do Whitehall could have a rotation that runs three or four deep, a rarity in the Adirondack League.
Just keeping the ball over the plate could be enough as those pitchers will be backed up by some solid glovework.
“Defensively we look strong at every position. A couple of kids are playing in some different spots this year but it actually makes us better there,” Hoagland said.
He expects to be very solid up the middle with several players alternating time at second base and shortstop and Paxton DeLorme covering a lot of ground in center field.
Offensively the team should be strong at the top of the order. Justin Hoagland and Codie Bascue will be the table setters and will be followed by Josh Hoagland, Carl Rehm and Christian, who has shown an improved bat. After that the lineup is largely unproven.
“We’re going to have to manufacture runs. We have potential to be good and we have tons of speed on the bases,” Hoagland said.
“My expectations are very high. I would be very disappointed if we don’t make sectionals.”
Codie Bascue, Sr. (OF)
Brett Christian, Sr. (P/IF)
Troy Nichols, Sr. (OF)
Ryan Battease, Sr. (OF)
Paxton Delorme, Jr. (OF)
Dillon Griffin, Jr. (IF/P)
Josh Hoagland, Jr. (IF/C)
Colby LaChapelle, Jr. (OF/C)
Jordan Eggleston, Jr. (OF)
Carl Rehm, Jr. (IF/P)
Brandon Steves, So. (IF/P)
Dustin Johnson, So. (OF)
Justin Hoagland, FR. (IF/P)
Julian Barber, FR. (OF)
Mon., April 2 Warrensburg at Whitehall
Wed., April 4 Fort Ann at Whitehall
Fri., April 6 Whitehall at Poultney
Mon., April 16 Whitehall at Fort Edward
Wed., April 18 Bolton at Whitehall
Fri., April 20 Whitehall at Hartford
Mon., April 23 Argyle at Whitehall
Wed., April 25 Whitehall at Corinth
Fri., April 27 Whitehall at Salem
Mon., April 30 Whitehall at Fort Ann
Wed., May 2 Whitehall at North Warren
Fri., May 4 Fort Edward at Whitehall
Mon., May 7 Hartford at Whitehall
Wed., May 9 Whitehall at Lake George
Thurs., May 10 Whitehall at Argyle
Mon., May 14 Salem at Whitehall
Wed., May 16 Luzerne at Whitehall
* All games start at 4:15 p.m.