Six seniors will lead baseball Knights

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

Marion County Baseball Head Coach Chad Spalding begins his 17th season at the helm this year. He’s looking forward to the start of season for several reasons. One is that he believes his team is primed for a success.
“We are a senior dominant team,” he said. “This is the first time we have had six seniors in a long time. We also have a junior that has as much experience as most or all of the seniors.”
Spalding went on to discuss what this means for his team.
“This helps in so many aspects, from the way we practice to the way we have to coach and how the game management will take place,” he said. “There is more trust in players to know how to execute plays and get the job done.”
Spalding noted that his pitching staff is another strength.
“I wouldn’t say that we have a dominant pitcher, but we have a number of guys that can go out and compete and throw strikes,” he said. “This is a big bonus for any baseball team. All six seniors can pitch and we have three juniors and a sophomore that can pitch at the varsity level.”
This team really seems to pull for each other and seems to be focused on goals they have set, Spalding said.
“Simple goals that mean a lot can lead to a good season if we obtain those goals,” he said.
He said the coaches are excited about the season, how the players have worked in the off-season and by the early practices.
Spalding is looking to improve on a 15-18 record last season that included an early exit in the first round of the district tournament.
“Last season we made way too many errors, so we hope to work toward playing solid defense and putting ourselves in situations to win games,” he said.
He also noted that his team will have good speed and can play small ball to manufacture runs.
“I also think we have the capability to swing the bat for some power in the gaps and hit for an average as a team,” he said.
Several key players will be important to the success of the team, according to Spalding. He said the key players to watch will be the seniors - Devin Spalding, Michael Costello, Alex Gordon, Justin Lark, Levi Haydon and Jacob Overstreet.
“How they perform and lead will show up in so many of our games,” Spalding said.  “All six of them have a great chance to start every game unless some underclassmen can take their jobs.”
Junior Joey Costello and sophomore Robbie Spalding are a couple of key underclassmen that Spalding is looking for big things from.
“Both of them played major roles for the team last year, and Joey has started varsity since his eighth grade season,” he said.
Marc Brock and Will Knight will once again be on the coaching staff for this season.
“We are excited to have them back to help with the team,” Spalding said. “Both will be part-time, but bring a lot to the team and have been missed for the last two years.”
The Knights open up play on Friday with a home scrimmage against Hart County.  The first regular season game will be next Monday at home against Garrard County. Marion County’s varsity team will begin the season with three straight home games.