Wildcats ready to improve on the baseball field

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 5:57 pm on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

LAKEVIEW — The Lakeview Wildcats baseball team went through some growing pains last season.

A youthful team from last year will return this year for the Wildcats. Lakeview coach Ryan Vellanti is hoping a year of experience will help this season.

“We have many returning players that got a lot of experience from last year as freshman and sophomores,” Vellanti said. “Our defense should be much more improved this year.”

Returning for the Wildcats are Jordan Stephens (2B), Cory Hamlin (C), Kyler Ridgeway (1B/P), Joey Cole (OF/P) and Garrett Cavendish (CF). Gone are Mike Vanderzand, Kyle Kain and Zach Anderson.

“Our season will go as far as our pitching takes us,” Vellanti said. “If our pitchers improve this year, then we will be much improved.”

Lakeview will be without any seniors this season.

“We are still very young, but we have a lot of experience to go with the youth,” Vellanti said. “We don’t have any seniors, but we do have a lot of young energetic student-athletes that work hard and are excited about this upcoming season.”

The team’s main goal is to improve each week.

“We want to compete with the top teams in the CSAA and to be at our best in June for districts,” Vellanti said.

Stephens and Hamlin will be the team’s co-captains.

“Stephens is our leading returning hitter along with Cavendish and Hamlin,” Vellanti said. “Ridgeway is one of our returning pitchers along with Cole.”

Vellanti said Chippewa Hills (district champs a year ago), Big Rapids and Reed City will be strong in the CSAA.

Lakeview is back in action on April 10 when they host the Montabella Mustangs in nonconference play.

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