The Pleasant Ridge baseball team were set their season Friday in a doubleheader against Marais des Cygnes at home. Due to rain on Thursday, the games were delayed to a date not yet announced.
Head coach Justin Sloop said practice for the Rams has been going good leading up to the now postponed game. Like other schools and sports, the baseball team has struggled to practice outside in the first few weeks.
“Just like everyone else it has been hard to get out on the field because of all the moisture we have been getting,” Sloop said. “We have been practicing in the gym and hitting in our batting cage. On nice days, if we cannot get on our infield because it is too wet, we have gone out to our practice football field to get outside and get some work in. We got on our actual field for the first time this week on Monday.”
The Rams will have 17 players on this year’s team, including six returning from last year. The team is made up of seven seniors, one junior, two sophomores and seven freshmen. Sloop expects to get good leadership from the returning players to help lead the younger guys.
“We have a couple players that are going out for the first time,” Sloop said. “And a couple that are new to our school district this year. So far this has been a great group that comes to work and looks to get better every day.”
He said he expects to get a lot of production out of returning players Cole Blanke, Eli Scwhinn, Clayton Richter, Dawson Bertrand and Gavin VanDyke. He also expects strong production from seniors Trevor Lawson and Colten Comer. Lawson is new to the district and Comer is out for baseball for the first time. Sloop also said the team will rely on the younger players as well.
“We are going to have to rely on some younger players to step up and play some important roles for us,” he said. “We are excited to see what we can get out of our returning players along with our young players. There are some talented younger players that we think will help us out this season.”
So far in the preseason practices, the coach said the biggest strength has been communication and the players pushing each other to work. He also said the team has looked good in the batting cage.
“We have been pretty solid in the field,” Sloop said. “We have looked good in the cage hitting but we need more reps against live pitching. We will see how that develops over the course of the year.”