Bryant says St. Joseph must develop different attitude
Greg Bryant wants his players to act like gentlemen.
Off the field.
The St. Joseph Flyers baseball coach is hoping for his team to exhibit a more aggressive attitude on the field as they seek to improve on last season’ 14-6 record and sectional championship.
“We need to develop a killer instinct,” Bryant said. “We got leads last year and let them slip away.”
A veteran team could give the Flyers what Bryant wants, especially with the pitching.
The Flyers return Ryan Waginger, Ryan Schwab, Chad Harvey, and Caleb Blackburn while added Cory Lewis who missed last season with a knee injury.
Also in the mix are Tre’ Stambaugh, Jerrod Laber and Pat Gagai.
“They all throw strikes and they should get strong as the year goes on,” Bryant said. “We have five or six who can throw and that should make it easier.”
The pitching staff is a reflection of the team.
“We have depth and experience. We’re a year stronger physically and that should help them,” Bryant said.
Two players who have shown dramatic improvement are senior rightfielder Michael Basedow and Gagai, a sophomore catcher.
“Gagai is strong with his throws. Basedow just came out last year and he just keeps getting better,” Bryant said.
A key asset to the team will be Harvey, a sophomore who will be the team’s most versatile player filling in at each position depending on who the pitcher is on a certain day.
“He makes it nice to just have to make one move instead of moving four or five guys around. He’s good enough he can play any position on the field,” Bryant said.
Waginger will be at first base with Lewis taking over at second base. Schwab is back at shortstop and Blackburn returns at third base.
“Cory has looked really good even after being off a season,” Bryant said. “Schwab is a solid fielder and a good leadoff hitter. Caleb has better range. He’s more agile and he has a stronger arm.”
Stambaugh will be in left field, Laber will patrol center and Basedow will be in right.
“The whole outfield can cover the ground. Anything hit in the air should be caught,” Bryant said.
But the Flyers should have depth, too. Joe Unger will be the swingman in the outfield, Joey Basedow has looked good at third base, Dylan Klein is a solid backup at second base and Alex Brown should get some playing time at first base.
“We have really good balance in our lineup. We’ve got a good mix of power and speed,” Bryant said.