MARION: Marion baseball off to a rough start
Injuries and uncooperative weather have left Marion High School’s baseball team in an interesting predicament.
“Thursday’s game was the first time we got on the field,” coach Roger Schroeder said. “The spring season is just that way. You’ve got to roll with the punches and adapt.”
It didn’t show, with Marion taking the game against Udall 26-10. Early spring weather has forced the team to focus on hitting and offense.
“Team defense has been a little bit neglected — not on purpose, of course,” Schroeder said. “When you can’t get on the field, you can’t get on the field.”
Three of the team’s 14 members are injured. One was hurt during the football season and will be back mid-April. One was injured over winter and will return at the end of April. One was hurt during weightlifting class and will be back in May.The trio aren’t skipping practices, however.
“We’ve found roles for them as managers right now until they can get to full practice,” Schroeder said. “It’s been good for our continuity and the team aspect of it to see the guys around and have them still put in the time.”
Schroeder has been focusing on making his players comfortable at multiple positions. He prefers to have players focus on one, but a smaller team can’t afford to specialize.
The team has no seniors this year, and lost seven players to graduation. Only two freshmen and a junior have come in to replace them, and no player has more than a year of experience.
“We’re really developing some good leadership qualities with these guys,” Schroeder said. “Thinking of our junior class, this is only their second year with us since their freshman year was canceled. All of our juniors might as well be sophomores from a baseball perspective, so we’re going a different route with guys stepping up and being leaders.”
Losing nobody to graduation this year means the team could roll into next year with the same players, a year wiser.
“I think we’re in a good situation with the group that we have,” Schroeder said. “We won’t be losing any experience. This is great for us to be able to learn and adapt now, and it’ll help us learn and improve in the next year.”
The team finished 14-9 last year, won two post-season games, and ended up seven innings away from a state tournament.
“That’s the goal, to get yourself into a position to earn a position in the state championship,” Schroeder said.
The team’s next game will be 4:30 p.m. Friday against Inman at home.
Last modified March 30, 2022