By RUSSELL JONES
Proctor baseball coach Jeff Patch knows his team will have their work cut out for them this spring, but if they can get over a couple of hurdles, they could make a run in the playoffs.
“We’ll have to overcome losing four starters from last season,” Patch said. “We’re not going to be very deep, we’ll have 11 kids, but Joe is out with a knee injury.”
Joe would be junior Joe Valerio. He pitched for Proctor last season and played shortstop, and they are hoping he will be back playing with the team sometime around May 7. In the meantime, the Phantoms will have to find creative solutions to replace him both in the field and at the plate.
Senior Jacob May, junior Solomon Parker, and sophomore Camden Richardson will be asked to carry the duties on the mound. The team is down three pitchers, including Valerio, from last season, so all will be fairly new faces as starters.
Patch said the team would be solid defensively and he would use several players at shortstop, depending on who was pitching.
“We just need to play smart baseball and limit mental mistakes,” Patch said. “If you make an error you can’t make it worse by making ten more afterwards. Got to play smart.”
Patch said they will be a good hitting team that makes solid contact and are fast enough to mix in some small ball when needed.
The Phantoms toughest games will come against Black River, Arlington and MSJ.