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Plenty of positions open on BHV baseball squad

The Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale Raiders will be aiming for the high side of .500 this spring as they toss a young team at the competition.

Graduation cost Steve Riewer seven of his nine starters. The Raiders go into 2012 with just three seniors on the roster.

"Realistically, I hope to finish above .500 for the season," Riewer said. "We will need to play good defense and keep our opponents from putting up big numbers if we are going to compete."

Pitching will be what it's all about for the Raiders.

Junior Dallas Ehrmantraut will be called on to fill the No. 1 starting role on the hill. Backing him up will be juniors Nick Brown and Josh Gilb along with freshmen Dillon Card and Preston Riewer.

Riewer will be asking senior Matt Fretham to switch from the outfield to the catching spot. How well Fretham makes the transistion will say a lot about the chances of his team in the Park Region Conference.

"We will need to play good defense and keep our opponents from putting up big numbers if we are cgoing to compete," Riewer said. "We don't have the returning veteran hitters to consistently score a lot of runs so pitching and defense will be key for us."

Senior Daryn Kirscht will split time between the outfield and first while classmate Chris Blocker roams the outfield. The Raiders would like to play junior Mike Mousseau at third. Sophomores on the team will be catcher-third baseman John French, third baseman Travis Eckel, first basemen Erica Blaha and Joe VanDenheuvel and outfielder Justin Masog. Rounding out the freshman group are Brady Baumgartner, Matt Lipinski, Gavin Peterson, Hayden Truax and Collin Morris.

The Raiders are coming off a 10-11 season which saw them win five of the 12 Park Region games.

The New York Mills Eagles are favorites for the PRC title this year and are also regarded as the team to beat in Section 6A.