Senior staff writer
BEECH GROVE (5-12): First-year coach Nick Purichia inherits experienced team … high enthusiasm with good mix of veterans and young players … must make up for graduated David Corbin (.394) … look for more small ball to get more runs … senior pitchers Kole Aping, Tyler Aping and Zach Ringham and junior Jalen Romine make up strong mound corps, also play in infield when not pitching … all-sophomore outfield of Gavin Hess (.333), Terrance Pope and Jordan Reel has experience … Hess adds pitching depth … soph Nic Ancelet (.298) behind plate … Manual visits Hornets in Southside duel April 5.
Coach’s comments: “Any time you step into a program for the first time, you want to build a certain culture that will be successful. We’re not going to accept losing. We have a core group of seniors and sophomores who had a lot of playing time last year. It’s a good combination of veteran leadership and players who are young. … We have some kids with a pop in their bat, but we’re working on more situational hitting. We really expect big things from our sophomores for the next three years. We don’t want just one successful season; we want multiple winning seasons.”