Source: Sherman Publications

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Baseball team ready physically, mentally

by Dan Shriner

April 04, 2012

Front row (from left): Nate Brubaker, Nate Morris, Michael Kitchner, Brennen Orr, Matt Zitney, Matt Economou and Chris McGovern. Back row (from left): Mike Censullo, Sean Chavez, Billy Deeg, Shawn Donaldson, Ryan Kitching, Colin McGeen, Liam Logan, Vinnie Griffith and Head Coach Jeff Willis. Not pictured: Kyle Hartwick, Tyler Hunsucker and Jeremy White.
Returning starters and senior leadership should be a great combination to help the Oxford baseball team have a solid season.

Coach Jeff Willis said the team is returning four senior starters and a fifth senior also will start.

The team is led by catcher and four-year starter, Kyle Hartwick.

Other senior leaders are pitcher Matt Zitney, outfielder Matt Economou, Michael Kitchner and Tyler Hunsucker.

"We are deep this year and we are a good four or five players deep on the mound," Willis said.

Two juniors, who have played on the varsity since they were freshmen, also bring some solid veteran leadership.

Outfielder Colin McGeen and pitcher Ryan Kitching came to the varsity as freshmen and played all of last year as sophomores.

Even though the team had a disappointing season in 2012, Willis said the this year's squad has put it behind them and is ready for a fresh beginning.

"We are better, both physically and mentally, and ready for a great season. We are especially deep at pitching.

"We talked about last year's disappointment on the first day and never again this year. This is a new team."

The team also has some veteran leadership in the middle infield with Shawn Donaldson and solid first-base play from Nate Brubaker, who also handle some relief pitching duties..

Vinnie Griffith is versatile and can play third base and outfield.

Two sophomores who also have experience from last year are expected to contribute. Outfielder and designated hitter Jeremy White and first-baseman and pitcher Nate Morris are expected to be important contributors who are versatile.

The team's first game of the year will be April 10 at Lake Orion. Coach Willis said he is looking forward to the game, especially since he is an alumnus of Lake Orion and wants to beat the Dragons.

"I think we can open some eyes and surprise some people this year. We have a good team with great leadership."