ELNORA — The last two season’s have ended for the North Daviess baseball team in similar fashion -- a close loss to a talented team in the sectional. In 2012 it was Loogootee and last year it was Barr-Reeve, both games were decided by a combined four runs.
The Cougars have shown fight against the best of their opponents over the past two years as coach Zach Stoll has tried to rebuild a historically strong baseball program. With just 14 wins over those two seasons, North Daviess enters 2014 with a feeling of optimism that a big improvement is possible between now and the sectional in May.
“Historically speaking, North Daviess has always had a good baseball team,” Stoll said. “We have been down the last couple of years, but if you go back and look at the history of it, we’ve always been a pretty successful program. This is a pretty pivotal year and we have talked to the guys about that. We’re trying to get back to the same level as the other top programs.”
North Daviess finished with a 7-14 record last season, but a late season run in the regular season gave the Cougars a taste of what success felt like. In the semfinals of Sectional 63, North Daviess lost 3-2 to Barr-Reeve in nine innings, a year after losing 6-3 to Loogootee in the first round.
“In the last three weeks of last season we played really well,” Stoll said. “I think the guys finally understood what it took to compete and win games at a varsity level. Hopefully we will pick up this year right where we left off. We really have a sectional that is very competitive. Year in and year out three or four different schools can win that sectional. I definitely think we’re headed back in the right direction.”