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Eagles baseball hoping for big improvements in 07
The Arlington baseball team may be returning from a 5-15 season, but Eagle fans have plenty of reasons to hope for big things from this years team.
For one, the Eagles are returning two Wesco North Division All-Stars from its 2006 season, second-team first baseman and junior Caleb Scarth, and honorable mention senior infielder Trevor Milless. Arlington is also returning UW-bound senior pitcher Joey Dettrich.
Joining Dettrich on the mound this spring for the Eagles will be Scarth and sophomore Kyle Ayers, all of whom saw pitching time last year, said Arlington baseball coach Doug Plucker.
Another cause for optimism is the fact that last years season under the rookie coach already eclipsed the performance of the previous several seasons teams.##M:[more]
The atmosphere is quite a bit different. Last year was my first year here, so theres a pretty steep learning curve, especially for players who are seniors this year, said Plucker, who has the confidence of a years experience with his athletes. Last year was a big growing year. Even though our record was better than the previous years, I thought we could do a lot better. My expectations are pretty high.
Milless, who moved up to varsity last year under Pluckers guidance, attributed the Eagles improvement to hard work in the off-season and better team chemistry.
It seems like everyone kind of clicked right away and its a pretty good atmosphere all around, Milless said. I just think that everybody who was starting last year was more dedicated and focused. They preached team baseball. We played for the team instead of just playing for yourself.
Maturity should be another factor favoring Arlington in upcoming games. In addition to returning underclassmen Scarth and Ayers, the Eagles varsity lineup numbered eight seniors on a 15-player roster in a non-scoring scrimmage against Lakewood March 10.
Plucker said he is expecting each of the seniors who saw starting time last season to step up in different leadership roles around the diamond.
As far as team leaders, I expect Andrew Disotell and Trevor Milless to step up and be the players who act in the leadership roles, Plucker said, singling out Disotells defensive play in the Lakewood scrimmage and adding that he has high aspirations for Milless, particularly in the teams batting lineup.
Although Plucker had yet to finalize his starting rotation, he said he was impressed with the young players competing for openings in the outfield and at catcher.
The coach added that he is anxious to come away with some big wins early in the season.
As far as our non-league schedule, with the exception of Mariner, who were supposed to play (March 13), the rest are 3A schools like us, he said. So Im looking forward to playing some of the teams we might see in the district tournament if we make it there. We have got to bring our A game all the time.
Head coach: Doug Plucker, second year.
Assistant coaches: Erik Heinz, Scott Striegel, Jake Kon, Colby Knutson
2006 record: 5-15.
Returning starters: Trevor Milless (senior infielder, pitcher), Caleb Scarth (junior infielder, pitcher), Andrew Disotell (senior infielder), Kyle Ayres (sophomore outfielder, pitcher), Joey Dettrich (senior pitcher, outfielder).