Spring is here and the Blue Jays are migrating from the court to the baseball diamond.
Washington returns three starters from a team that posted a 10-16 record in 2018.
Leading the flight will be junior first baseman and pitcher Joe Hackmann, who batted .238 with five doubles, one home run, seven runs scored and 17 runs batted in during the 2018 campaign.
As a part of the Blue Jays starting pitching staff, Hackmann posted a 3-3 record in eight appearances and struck out 44 batters over 38.1 innings. He posted a 3.10 earned run average.
Also returning for the Blue Jay battery is sophomore catcher Luke Kroeter, who split starts at the position a year ago with then senior Zach Harms. Kroeter was 3-16 at the plate with three RBIs on the season.
Senior Joe Bauer returns after seeing regular time in left field last season, where he batted .167 with a home run and three RBIs. Bauer is slated to see time on the mound this season as well.
Three other returners on the roster saw time on the mound in 2018 — seniors Rett Corley, Cameron Weaver and Blake Theis.
Corley pitched 16.2 innings with a 5.04 ERA and 10 strikeouts. Weaver struck out 11 in 16 innings and posted a 3.94 ERA. Theis struck out three in 2.1 innings of work.
The Gateway Athletic Conference Central has a slightly more open feel to it this season with the departure of last season’s league champion Holt for the GAC South. Holt went 10-0 in the GAC Central a year ago.
However, Timberland enters the Central division in Holt’s place for the 2019 season. The Wolves went 8-2 in the GAC South in 2018 to tie Troy for the league title.
If you watched Washington Post 218 baseball over the summer, a few of the new names on the Washington varsity will sound familiar. Some of the new additions to the roster include junior infielder Drew Holtmeyer, sophomore pitcher / first baseman Riley West, junior outfielder Levi Weber and sophomore infielder Jacob Bauche.
Scott Bray returns as the team’s Head Coach. He will be assisted by Tim Zumsteg, Dane Gough, Matt Kroeter and John Alfermann.
Washington had been scheduled to play in a preseason jamboree Tuesday at Rolla, but the event was called off due to weather conditions and will not be rescheduled.
Instead, Washington will see its first live action of the spring in the annual Four Rivers Classic where the Blue Jays match up against Hermann and Sullivan in pool play.
The Blue Jays open the season Monday on the road at Hermann at 4:30 p.m. Washington will host the Eagles Wednesday, also at 4:30 p.m.