GREENFIELD — Like the old baseball reference goes, “good pitching will always stop good hitting.”
Fortunately for Greenfield-Central, despite saying farewell to nine seniors, the Cougars return four players, including three “above average” hurlers with varsity experience.
Junior pitcher Drey Jameson is expected to lead second-year head coach Robbie Miller’s pitching staff in 2016 after compiling a 4-2 record last season. His 2.83 ERA led the team, as did his 51 strikeouts.
Jameson, who already is receiving attention from collegiate programs, gave up just 15 earned runs in seven starts last season while recording nearly 10 strikeouts per seven innings pitched.
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“He tries to be the best player on the field, regardless of where (position) he’s at,” coach Miller said. “I think he is very confident in what he wants to do and is becoming a very good leader.
“If he sets his mind to it, he will accomplish. People (college coaches) are going to come watch him (this season).”
Miller also will rely on senior pitcher Tyler Mundell, who finished 2-2 last year and threw nearly 60 percent of his pitches for strikes. His ERA (7.66) may look inflated, but the then junior struck out nearly five batters per seven innings in 2015.
Also expected to contribute on the mound is 6-foot-6 senior Tate Hall, who did not play his junior season to focus on basketball. Miller said, despite some rust, Hall has been a surprise in the early portion of practices.
“He’s grown up a ton,” Miller said. “Any time you can have a 6-foot-6 lefty, it helps.”
Offensively, junior Tyler Farrell also returns to join Jameson and Mundell with varsity experience. The trio will also be Miller’s captains.
And defensively, Greenfield-Central returns every starter from the outfield from last season.
“We went back to the basics (this summer) since we are so young,” Miller said. “Defensively, I think we will field the ball better than we did last year.”
Jameson hit .337 last season off 34 hits and two home runs. He also scored 30 runs and stole nine bases. Even more impressive, in 109 plate appearances, Jameson only struck out 11 times.
Farrell was productive offensively last year, too, registering 24 hits and scoring 15 runs while hitting .338.
And with Seth Adams (3-6, 3.54 ERA) gone, who was the usual game one starter for Friday night conference doubleheaders, Jameson will likely get the ball first in key games.
He and Slater Rush, who graduated in 2015, were named All-HHC last season. At 7-5, the Cougars finished third in conference play behind Yorktown and Pendleton Heights.
March 31: vs. Richmond, 6 p.m.
April 4: vs. Lawrence North, 5:30 p.m.
April 8: vs. New Castle, 5:30 p.m.
April 11: vs. Beech Grove, 6 p.m.
April 13: at Scecina, 5:30 p.m.
April 15: at Delta, 7:30 p.m.
April 18: at Perry Meridian, 5:30 p.m.
April 22: vs. Yorktown, 7:30 p.m.
April 29: at New Palestine, 5:30 p.m.
May 2: at Eastern Hancock, 5:30 p.m.
May 3: at Connersville, 6 p.m.
May 6: at Pendleton Heights, 5:30 p.m.
May 9: at Lebanon, 6 p.m.
May 17: at Anderson, 5:30 p.m.
May 18: vs. Franklin Central, 6 p.m.
May 20: vs. Shelbyville, 5:30 p.m.
May 23: vs. Triton Central, 5:30 p.m.
Catch Them All
The Daily Reporter sports staff is catching up with all of Hancock County’s baseball teams this 2016 preseason. Get the scoop on the Mt. Vernon Marauders, Eastern Hancock Royals and New Palestine Dragons in Saturday’s edition.