Frazee baseball preview
Even though Frazee head baseball coach Dustin Geiser wants to get his team outside onto the diamond as bad as the next coach, having a condensed schedule through May maybe a benefit for the deep and talented Hornets.
Boasting a very deep pitching rotation, the Hornets potentially have the ability to absorb four to five games a week if the spring season’s start lapses into late April and forces postponed games into May.
“On paper, at least, we look fantastic with our pitching rotation,” Geiser said. “We won’t know until we can actually get outside and play some games, but we have five pitchers back with strong experience.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about innings, so a condensed schedule may actually bode well for us.”
The versatility the Frazee pitching staff also will help Geiser set up his pitchers, since all can either start, come out in relief or close.
Senior Jordan Ketter leads the team in innings pitched and returns with ace-quality stuff, while senior Tyler Wacker also has plenty of innings in, as well.
Juniors Grant Overland, Andrew Wendt and Cory Wokash all have good varsity seasoning from last year’s team and can provide lots of quality innings, as well.
If each of the five Hornet hurlers have improved over the course of the offseason, it can possibly set the Hornets up with a strength not many teams have the luxury of having – deep pitching.
“Our top five pitchers all deserve their innings and most of them are around the plate consistently and can throw strikes,” Geiser said.
“In baseball, especially high school baseball, if you can limit your walks and errors, you can play with anyone.”
All five of the pitchers are also starting infielders, which means the defensive lineup will be fluid, depending on who is on the mound that day.
Another advantage the Hornets will have is three of their five pitchers are also catchers in Wacker, Wokash and Overland.
“The chemistry between the pitcher and catcher is huge,” Geiser said.
“It’s good to have a pitcher-minded catcher, because now you have two opinions pitching.”
The outfield will be scattered with new, inexperienced players, in which Geiser feels comfortable cycling.
While pitching and defense should be a strength, the Hornets will need to improve weekly on their hitting.
“We have six starters back from last year and that’s our top six hitters, but it still will be a work in progress,” Geiser said.
“We are finding our last three in the order right now during practice. But the name of the game is getting baserunners. We’ll work the count and be patient at the plate.”
Power won’t necessarily come in the form of home runs, since there is only one career homer in the lineup, but getting quality at-bats will be key.
“I think batters one through nine will be tough outs, with four of our batters having three-plus years of varsity experience,” Geiser included.
After back-to-back years of making the Section 8-2A championship and losing both to talented New York Mills, the Hornet’s goal is to get back to the title game.
“We have the talent to make it back,” Geiser said. “New York Mills is the unquestioned favorite in the section again this year and are ranked No. 2 in the state.
“I think the Heart O’Lakes Conference is also wide open this year, too.”
With the first two games already lost to the extended winter, next up is the Park Rapids Tournament Friday and Saturday, which is in obvious danger of being cancelled, as well.
The Hornets could open up April 18, by hosting Hawley in a doubleheader or at New York Mills Friday, April 19.
The 2013 Frazee baseball schedule:
12-13 at Park Rapids
18 Hawley (DH)
19 at New York Mills
25 Barnesville (DH)
2 at Pelican Rapids (DH)
6 at Perham
7 at Pine River-Backus
9 Dilworth-G-F (DH)
14 at Breckenridge (DH)