Good numbers out bolster Frazee's lineup
Competition for the nine starting spots on the Frazee baseball team will be a driving force for improvement during the 2010 season.
The Hornets will have up to 20 players vying for playing time and that is a good problem to have for Frazee head coach Bryan Gillespie.
With competition providing motivation, Frazee should be improved across the board -- but more importantly on defense.
"I am more confident in the defense than I have been my three years I have been coaching here," Gillespie said. "It's the most secure we've been defensively."
Depth adds to the Frazee lineup, with Gillespie having more choices of filling a spot.
Experience is also a key, with the Hornets' three seniors leading the way.
Senior Matt Brower and junior Brandon Vanwatermulen will provide the Hornets will an effective one-two punch on the top of their pitching rotation.
Both were starters last year and both had good success from the mound.
"Matt is a quality starter, with decent velocity and good control," Gillespie said. "Brandon is a good control pitcher, who can switch up his speed."
Senior Matt Viste will also see time as a starter, with the pitching depth to be filled in with some inexperienced arms.
"Our depth is unknown, but we hope to have up to four different starters each week," the Frazee coach added.
Senior Sam Oelfke returns as a three-year starter at second base, with Viste moving from catcher to shortstop.
Junior Kody Sorenson will take on the catching duties, with sophomore Jacob Galbreght also seeing time behind the plate.
When not pitching, Brower will secure first base, providing a big target and reliable glove.
"Third base is completely open," Gillespie added.
The outfield is also shaken up a little, with VanWatermulen moving out and senior Dylan Stender moving from left to centerfield.
"We have good team speed and they all can run out there," Gillespie said.
Brower will also provide good power in the Hornet lineup, with Viste giving a good consistent stick with his .300-plus average from a year ago.
Sorenson and Vanwatermulen will also give the Frazee batting lineup some spark, as well.
"We'll try and get more and more aggressive with our base running and be more heads up," Gillespie included.
The Hornets also move from Section 8-2A to Section 6-1A, giving the opportunity for Frazee to play schools their own size.
"We'll still need to play well to win in the playoffs," the Frazee coach said. "We'll still be focused on playing our regular season games."
The Hornets open the 2010 season in the Park Rapids Tournament, April 16-17.
Frazee 2010 baseball schedule:
16-17 Park Rapids Tournament
20 Detroit Lakes
29 Pelican Rapids
30 at Bertha-Hewitt
4 Lake Park-Audubon
7 New York Mills
11 at Breckenridge
18 West Central
21 Ottertail Central
28 at Detroit Lakes.