The Lansing baseball team is preparing for another season under head coach Michael Basler.
Basler said the program has gotten off to a great start in practice.
“Our players have been working their tails off with all that we have asked of them,” Basler said.
The Lions will return 12 players with varsity experience. The team is also returning seven of eight position players with only third baseman Eliot Wilk not returning. Wilk is now playing college baseball at Missouri Valley College. The team will also have all but one pitcher back.
The team will be senior heavy with 10 seniors. This year’s seniors are Dakota Sill, Caleb Adams, Jayden Raymond, Derrick Williamson, Jake Jardon, Garrett Bull, Logan Barnard, Claye Howard, Nate Johnson and Dylan McLain.
Raymond, Sill, Adams, Williamson, Jardon, Bull, Barnard, Howard and Johnson are all returning varsity letter winners for the Lions along with Tyler Akin and Peyton Basler. McLain is also a returning letter winner, but he lettered at his previous high school last season.
The returning players for the Lions will be key, according to Basler.
“I think our returning varsity players will be a key for establishing our level of performance as a team and setting the foundation for what we hope to accomplish in 2019,” he said. “We have also had a lot of guys that were not ready to be varsity players a year ago make great strides in their game and are continuing to work hard on their games at the varsity level this year.”
He also said the returning players and experience will be a strength.
“I think the number of players we return with varsity experience and the number of senior players on our team will be a strength,” Basler said “I also think that that our pitching staff is deeper and stronger than it has been in the last four years. Obviously, our guys will have to execute pitches but the move to single games will allow our team to be more competitive on the mound this season.”
The single games that Basler referenced is a move that came from the new United Kansas Conference.
Basler said the JV team will play doubleheader conference games on Mondays with the varsity games being single games on Tuesday and Thursday, which he said was very different from the Kaw Valley League last season.
He said the team has more coaches and will play a complete schedule for the C-team this year.
Lansing kicks the season off Tuesday at Shawnee Heights. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.