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Hacker takes coaching reins at St. Joe

In his first time around, Kevin Hacker is looking for a little extra time.

Sunday, March 31, 2002

In his first time around, Kevin Hacker is looking for a little extra time.

Hacker begins his first season as a head coach as he takes the helm of the St. Joe Flyers baseball team. But Hacker has found practice time somewhat hard to come by early in the preseason.

St. Joe has been using the gym for the Variety Show and players have been involved in not only the show but the SCORES competition at Marshall. Also, the school does not permit any extra curricular activities from Holy Thursday through Easter.

"We need some more practice time," Hacker said. "We’ve had to use the gym for other activities and that’s caused us to miss a day here or there, and then we haven’t been able to get outside much. But we’ll be all right. We’ve got time."

Hacker inherits a team that will have just 12 players, eight of whom are seniors. Junior Danny Stack heads up the group of returning starters along with senior Chris Carte.

Carte is the second baseman while Stack and junior Kyle Johnson will share the shortstop duties depending on Stack’s pitching status.

"Carte has a good glove and he can play short if we need. Stack and Johnson are both good shortstops, so we’ll be all right there," Hacker said.

"We’re hoping for Danny Stack to step up along with Chris Carte. We have eight seniors and that’s what we have to build from."

Junior Chris Laber will be at first base and Hacker said "he’s been hitting the ball pretty well."

Senior Josh Addis is back at third base and Hacker said "he’s a good defensive player and he has good speed and quickness. He’ll give us a running threat."

Behind the plate will be senior Pat McGinnis who is a four-year starter. Senior Ty Gagai will fill in when McGinnis is pitching.

"Pat McGinnis will be a strong point for us behind the plate. He’s a good defensive catcher and he hits well," Hacker said. "He’s assumed the leadership role with the team."

Senior Bill Dressel will be in left but may shift to center field when Johnson moves. Johnson will be the centerfielder with senior Joey Laber in right field.

"Our outfield is strong. Kyle has excellent speed, a strong arm and he’s a good athlete. Bill has a good arm and he’s very athletic," Hacker said. "Joey will do a good job for us in right field."

Stack, McGinnis, Dressel, Johnson, and possibly Chris Laber will handle the pitching.

"We’ve got pretty good pitching and we’ve been hitting the ball well in practice. Dressel hasn’t played the past two years and he was rusty at first, but he’s starting to come around," said Hacker. "McGinnis should be our number two guy and he’ll do a good job."