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Pitching to lead Bulldogs on the diamond

Mar. 22—BATESVILLE — After a disappointing loss to Franklin County in the first round of the sectional last season, Batesville returns key players at key positions. The Bulldogs will look to improve on an 18-8 overall record and 11-3 EIAC record (second place).

The Bulldogs have had good attendance and numbers in the offseason.

"We consistently had about 20 kids at offseason workouts without the winter sport athletes. I thought we were able to get outside a good amount whether that be on our football turf or at Liberty Park a couple times," Coach Tyler Burcham. "Overall, I was pleased with the progress we made and the effort our kids gave this offseason."

The Bulldogs return five starters from last year including seniors Chris Lewis, Jack Grunkemeyer (Northwestern University commit), Eli Loichinger (Marian University commit) and Carter Bohman as well as junior Will Jaisle (University of Notre Dame commit).

"We also have Alex Krekeler, Dane Dudley, Carson Schneider, Conner Drake, Brayden Maple and Josh Borgman that were all contributors last year that we are excited to have back," Coach Burcham added.

Looking to make an impact this year are newcomers Paxton Harris, Rylan Yeager, Keegan Walke, Mason Jones, Cayden Drake, Noah Weigel and Landon Grossman. All are looking for their first varsity experience this year and Coach Burcham looks forward to seeing what contributions they can make in 2024.

Batesville's goal for the year is to become EIAC champs and sectional champs.

"We are fortunate to send out some of the best pitchers in the area each night. The last two years we've struck out 220 and 226 (school record) batters in 26 games, and I think we can continue that streak of pitching dominance," Coach Burcham said. "We have some big shoes to fill with seniors Charlie Schebler (Akron University) and Max Baumer (Franklin College) moving on to play at the next level, but we feel like we have a group that can compete with anyone in the state. I'm excited for this group to compete each day and continue to build on the success our program has become accustomed to and strive for each year."

The Bulldogs host Rising Sun March 29 to open the season.

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com.