Blue Ridge baseball coach Daniel Barge is hoping that familiarity will help breed success and contentment for his Tigers this season.
“We’re a senior heavy group where most of the guys in that class have been playing together all their lives, same for the junior class,” Barge told Texas Scorecard. “Besides that, our depth and our pitching will be our strengths. We’ve got a lot of talent and the more experienced guys will be looking to lead by example for younger teammates and take them under their wings.”
The Tiger will be led by the senior trio of shortstop Evan Beasley and infielders Brayden Skotnicki and Ross Saegins.
Barge describes Beasley as a power-hitting, middle-of-the-lineup stalwart who comes to play every day.
“He’s always dirty, diving everywhere and doing the things that coaches love to see,” he said. “The guys feed off his energy and rely on him in the clutch.”
As the leadoff man, Skotnicki jumpstarts the Blue Ridge offense, stealing bases and seemingly always in the right place at the right time.
“He’s an even better kid than he is athlete,” Barge added. “All the teachers in the school love him and he’s one of our unquestioned leaders.”
Finally, Barge describes Saegins as a “baseball lifer” that he can plug in pretty much anywhere and know that he’s going to get the same result.
“He’s also probably our best pitcher, with the fastball, change-up combination he throws,” he said. “Then, he’s also our top catcher.”
It all has Barge liking the Tigers’ chances as the season fast approaches.
“There’s a lot of stuff we need to clean up, but I definitely think we are a playoff caliber team,” he said. “As long as we make the effort every day and stay focused, I would think we will be able to play with just about anybody.”