MONTGOMERY — The Barr-Reeve baseball team is coming off its best season in recent years, but Vikings fans will have a to wait a few more days for the first pitch.
Barr-Reeve was scheduled to open their 2014 baseball season on Monday, but with the success of the Viking basketball team, the opening games were pushed back until Saturday. A large part of the everyday lineup was included in the core that led Barr-Reeve to the basketball state title game this past Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Nathan Lester returns for his fifth year as baseball coach at Barr-Reeve and last year the Vikings finished with a 18-7 record after a season that saw them eight straight wins at one point, but lost to eventual state runner-up, Vincennes Rivet.
The Vikings graduated four seniors from last year’s team and all were major contributors to the teams success. Lost from last year’s team were two solid pitchers in Heath Graber, who was 8-2 on the mound and the late Brandon Wagler who was 7-4 on the season.
Two other players lost from last year’s squad were catcher/pitcher Stan Kemp and shortstop/pitcher Myron Stoll. Lester will return seniors’ Cain Miller, Clay Cummings, Jon McMullen and Tristan Wagler. Seth Swartzentruber, Matt Stoll, Lucas Graber, Connor Swartzentruber, Addison Wagler and Chris Wittmer make up a strong junior class and Adam Graber, Trevor Yoder, Logan James, Shane Miller, Chris Howell, Daylon Knepp, Max Craney, Jalon Graber and Eric Graber will provide depth as sophomores. Freshmen for the Vikings this season will be Caleb Stoll, Michael Duvall, Cameron Kavanaugh, Mitchell Wagler, Will Scott, Levi Murdach, Justin Wagler, Trent Graber, Kolten Graber, Daniel Nicholson and Austin Lee.
“I am very optimistic about this season,” Lester said. “We lost some very good pitching from last year but I feel we have some good pitching that is returning in Lucas Graber, Logan James, Trevor Yoder and Connor Swartzentruber and there are a few others that might help us out on the mound as well. This is the first year that I have players that I can move from one position to another when and where I need them.