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Greenfield-Central Baseball Preview

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Brendon Neal. DR file photo.
Brendon Neal. DR file photo.

Head Coach: Brian Murphy, first season.

2012: 17-12 overall, 9-5 Hoosier Heritage Conference. Lost 8-2 to New Castle in Class 4A Sectional 9 semifinal.

Last sectional title: 2006.

Key returnees (with grade, 2012 key stats):

P/INF: Curtiss Irving, 12 — 10 IP/.495, 19 2B, 26 RBI

C: Jayden Jackson, 12 — .388, 31 R, 18 BB

P/OF: Brendon Neal, 12 — 1-1, 3.47 ERA in 36.1 IP/.360, 5 HR, 22 RBI

SS: Mitch Gibson, 11 — .314, 21 R, 13 RBI

3B: Cam Gruell, 12 — .281, 19 RBI, 13 BB

P/1B: Seth Adams, 10 — 1-2, 3.50 ERA in 26 IP

RF: Chris Kersey, 12 — .264

P/LF: Jordan Keener, 12 — 2-2, 3.74 ERA in 24.1 IP/.273

What’s new: Travis Keesling left to coach his alma mater, Pendleton Heights, after five seasons at G-C. Former Warren Central head man Brian Murphy is the new manager. Pitcher/infielder Clark Pence is now playing at Morehead State. Other than that, everyone else returns, including a healthy Irving. After going 6-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 58 and two-thirds innings as a sophomore, arm trouble limited the Ohio State recruit to 10 innings as a junior.

Coachspeak: “I definitely want the guys to have fun, that’s why they play. But there’s a balance in baseball because you have to have poise when things go wrong.”

“One of the biggest challenges with this team will be getting guys playing time. The bad news with last year’s injuries was that the team was not as successful as it could have been. But, the good news is that a lot of guys got varsity playing time and proved they could play at the varsity level. So this year we’ve got guys competing for playing time, and some good players are going to be in substitute roles. It’s a great problem to have. And I think this group understands it’s about having team success first, so we’re all looking forward to the season.”

“We do have a strong senior class and some very good underclassmen. If you work as hard and put in as much time as our guys do, you’re crazy if your goal isn’t to win both the conference and the sectional. But, there are too many good teams in both for us to think it’s going to come easily.” — G-C coach Brian Murphy

Class 4A Sectional 9 at Pendleton Heights includes: Anderson, Connersville, Greenfield-Central, New Castle, Pendleton Heights, Richmond.

On Deck: G-C travels to Muncie Saturday for a Hoosier Heritage Conference doubleheader against Delta.

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