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Mt. Vernon Baseball Preview

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Derek Barnett. DR file photo.
Derek Barnett. DR file photo.

Head Coach: Scott Johnson, first season.

2012: 10-16, 5-9 Hoosier Heritage Conference. Lost 6-2 to Guerin Catholic in Class 3A Sectional 26 semifinal.

Last sectional title: 2011

Key returnees (with grade, 2012 key stats):

CF: Troy Montgomery, 12 — .446, 11 RBI, 15 SB

RF: Zach Norman, 11 — .323, 11 RBI, 12 SB

SS: Tyler Langdon, 11 — .306, 13 RBI

2B/LF: Christian Smith, 10 — .481 in 10 games

P/3B: Seth Gohring, 12 — 8 IP/.257 in 14 games

2B: Derek Barnett, 11

C: Nick Gwinn, 12

What’s new: For the fourth straight season, the Marauders’ season dawns with a new coach. Former Angola and Hamilton Southeastern coach Scott Johnson takes over for Dustin Glant. Mt. Vernon lost All-Hancock County selections Jake Mills (pitcher) and JonMichael Weaver (first basemen) from the 2012 unit. The outfield is headlined by two-time all-county honoree and Ohio State recruit Troy Montgomery, who will bat leadoff and play center. Junior Zach Norman will play right field and hit third. Sophomore Christian Smith will start in left field or play second base, where junior Derek Barnett is also in the mix. Junior Tyler Langdon will play shortstop and senior Seth Gohring — who Johnson termed as the team’s vocal leader — will man the hot corner. First base is up for grabs, and sophomore Luke Perdue has his name in the mix. Senior Nick Gwinn will start behind the dish. The pitching staff consists of senior Quinten Hayes, juniors Andrew Boyle, Zach Spears, Joey Turner, Wyatt Wills and Gohring. Starters and relievers are undetermined.

Coachspeak: “The players in the Mt. Vernon baseball program are hungry for success. Obviously there are going to be differences from years past — philosophies, personalities, etc — but it has been stressed from Day 1 one that if we are going to enjoy the success we all desire then everyone must be on the same side. So far there has been a positive sense of trust between players, coaches and even parents. That will need to continue when we encounter obstacles, so we can make them stepping stones when weaknesses are exposed, so we can develop them into strengths, and when things fall apart, so we can put the pieces back together even stronger.”

“The HHC schedule is always dangerous with doubleheaders virtually every Friday night. But to make it even tougher, we play an extremely strong non-conference schedule that includes 4A schools Fishers, New Castle, North Central, Carmel and Lawrence Central. The hope is that this kind of competition will prepare us for postseason play and give us the tools necessary to win a Sectional and continue far beyond.”

“New Palestine, Greenfield-Central and Delta will have targets on their backs as the preseason favorites in the HHC. We cannot afford to overlook the other four conference teams as everyone will have the potential to at least split with any opponent.”

“Our sectional is a long way away. We will divide the season into four parts, and that will be the fourth. We will focus on that at the appropriate time.”

“Assistant coaches Mark Calder and Kyle Beachy are totally dedicated to helping this program be the best it can be. Their work in the offseason and preseason has been phenomenal.” — MV coach Scott Johnson

Class 3A Sectional 26 at Brebeuf Jesuit includes: Arlington, Brebeuf Jesuit, Chatard, Guerin Catholic, Howe, Mt. Vernon.

On Deck: Ranked No. 8 in the preseason 3A IBCA poll, the Marauders’ first contest is April 5 at New Palestine.

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