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Inexperienced Frazier to rely on 3 returning starters

Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Frazier's Blake Herron loosens up his arm Monday, March 18, 2013, at Frazier High School. Herron will be one of the top pitchers in Frazier's rotation this season.

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By Dave Stofcheck
Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

With just three returning starters, things are going to be different this year for Frazier baseball coach Craig Kordich.

About to begin his fifth season at the helm, Kordich has never entered a season with so many holes to fill. But for the moment, he doesn't seem too upset.

“Losing a lot of kids means there's going to be a little more competition,” Kordich said. “It's going to make some kids work harder. A lot of young kids have been doing some good things to fill those spots.”

Kordich is going to rely on three experienced seniors — Jaime Fell, Blake Herron and Jared Rebovich — to lead the way.

Fell will pitch and anchor the defense at shortstop, with Herron pitching and filling in just about everywhere else, according to Kordich.

“Jaime's a very athletic kid,” Kordich said. “He does a lot of things right. He gets the job done. Jaime has three pitches and he throws all three pretty well. He's not overpowering, but he can pump it up there when he has to. I don't want to call Jaime a power or a finesse pitcher, but he can put one in on the hands or break one off outside if need be.”

Kordich said Herron and Fell have similar styles on the mound, and it's Herron's flexibility that make him a huge asset.

“He will pitch, he will play outfield and he will fill in on the infield,” Kordich said. “He can play anywhere. I don't want to call him a utility man because I don't want to short-change him. He gets dirty every game. He never leaves the field clean.”

Rebovich will man left field and also works hard, according to Kordich.

“He's very consistent,” Kordich said. “He does his job day in and day out. He's not very flashy, but he's a hustler. He will dive for a ball when he needs to.”

Fell and Herron will make up the top of Frazier's rotation, and Nick Smalich, Travis Sanner and J.J. Roebuck will also log innings.

“We lost Adam Cook and Robert Gondura to graduation, and those guys ate up a lot of innings,” Kordich said. “We're expecting Jamie and Blake to eat up some innings as well.”

Frazier missed the WPIAL Class AA playoffs last season after posting a 10-10 overall mark. The Commodores have dropped to Class A and will compete in Section 2-A.

Along with Frazier, Bishop Canevin, Clairton, Geibel, Monessen and Serra make up the section.

“There's some pretty good teams in the section,” Kordich said. “Serra is always tough, and you can never sleep on Canevin. Monessen is another team that is coming on. There's not going to be an easy game this season. The first year I was here we played a lot of freshmen and sophomores, so those kids wound up seeing a lot of playing time in four years. I don't want to refer to this as a rebuilding year, but it's going to be a change from the last couple of seasons. We lost seven starters, and those guys probably started two or three years for us.”

The Commodores open the season Friday at Carmichaels.

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer.



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