Green to rely on senior leadership

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2001

FRANKLIN FURNACE – Green fifth-year head coach Dave Shoupe likes senior leadership.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

FRANKLIN FURNACE – Green fifth-year head coach Dave Shoupe likes senior leadership. He may like it even more this season.

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The Bobcats lost Rick Perkins, Tim Willis, Brian Dixon, and Chris Williams from a 16-6 team that was runners-up in the Southern Ohio Conference.

In order to compensate for those losses, Green will turn to seniors Jeff Dixon, Kyle Dyer, Jesse Ferrell, Justin Voiers, and Alex Poe, along with returning junior starters Brad Bainer and Matt Riffe.

Dixon, Poe, and possibly Voiers will contribute as pitchers along with their other day-to-day duties.

"Dixon and Riffe are one and two as our pitchers. Joe Salyers will see time on the mound and so will Alex Poe. We’re still trying to decide on the four and five guys," Shoupe said.

Voiers, a four-year starter, is one of the key players if Green is going to match last season’s success.

"Justin Voiers is our catcher and he looks solid, but we can’t take him from behind the plater, at least right now. We just need for these guys to throw strikes because defense is going to be a strength."

Voiers along with his teammates will rely on their bats and gloves to overcome the heavy pitching losses.

"We have some speed and we have some guys who can pick it. Voiers has a nice arm behind the plate, and we can field the ground ball," said Shoupe.

Dyer returns at first base and Shoupe said "he’s a natural four-hole hitter. He can hit for power."

Second base will go to junior Dustin Adkins and Shoupe said "he makes contact, bunts well and runs well. He’ll do a nice job," said Shoupe.

Dixon will be at shortstop and junior Joe Salyers takes over at third base.

"Dixon has the most experience other and Justin. He has a great arm and a great bat," said Shoupe. "Joe Salyers is a guy we need to find a place to play. Right now third base is his job to lose."

Left field belongs to Bainer while Poe, a newcomer, is in center. The rightfielder is Ferrell.

"We can cover the ground out there. They can all run. No one in the league can run any better than these guys," said Shoupe. "Poe has some pop with the bat. It’s just a matter of time before he busts out. And Bainer is getting better and he’s a great leadoff hitter who has home run potential."

But Shoupe said Riffe may hold the key to the team’s success. He said Riffe’s versatility will be crucial.

"Matt Riffe has to be the utility guy, and he can handle the job. He’s going to play second, third, center, short, and maybe even catcher or third base depending on who is pitching. He may be the key player for us this year," Shoupe said.

In the SOC, Shoupe looks for a logjam at the top of the standings.

"This could be the most competitive league since I’ve been here. Notre Dame and East have a lot of veterans back, Symmes Valley and Clay will be good. It’s just going to be a real good league," Shoupe said.