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Scotties seek section title

| Friday, March 21, 2008

There are big expectations surrounding the Southmoreland baseball team this season, and coach Brian Hyde is hoping this year's club can do something no team in the program's history has.

"Our goal is to win the section title," Brian Hyde said. "We've never had one at Southmoreland, and we want it."

Perhaps the biggest reason for optimism is the team's pitching.

Seniors David Hyde, Jeremy Mains and Taylor Campbell will be four-year lettermen, and all are very tough on the mound.

"We have very strong pitching," Brian Hyde said. "They all throw in the mid-80s."

Add to that mix a four-year letterman behind the plate in Erik Frund, and it could be very tough for opposing teams to generate a lot of runs against the Scotties.

While Frund assumes his regular position as catcher, Mains (shortstop), Campbell (third base) and David Hyde (infield) will continue to be in the starting lineup when they aren't on the mound.

Seniors Shawn Kropp (outfield), Derek Sampey (first base/pitcher) and Zack Cossick (infield) as well as sophomore Christian Leonard (outfield) also are returning lettermen.

Most positions are accounted for, but Brian Hyde noted that there are still one or two spots that could be up for grabs. Fortunately, there appears to be plenty of candidates ready to challenge for playing time.

"I'm excited about the whole team in general," Brian Hyde said. "The younger guys will push the seniors to work harder."

Last year, the Scotties did not qualify for the playoffs, but there is no shortage of confidence among this year's team.

"We have a really good team," Campbell said. "Our fielders are solid, and our pitching is solid. As long as we hit the ball, we should do pretty well. I just think we have a good chance of winning a lot of games this year and hopefully we can go far in the playoffs."

Brian Hyde is in his fifth season as the team's head coach. He will be assisted by Mike Russin.

The Scotties will compete in Section 4-AA against East Allegheny, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Riverview, Shady Side Academy and South Allegheny.

Southmoreland is scheduled to open the season on Tuesday at home against Frazier.

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