• Dr. Herpy

Bomber sluggers to lean on infield defense

What the Kenston baseball team lacks in plate appearances and outfield experience, the Bombers hope to make up for with infield defense and the sheer number of arms in their bullpen.

Returning from a 12-10 campaign, including a 7-3 mark in the Chagrin Valley Conference for a three-way championship with Chagrin Falls and Aurora, the Bombers have just four veteran bats in their order.

Among their six first-team all-conference selections, only seniors Adam Bush and Jimmy Artale return to the diamond.

Bush has been the starting shortstop for Kenston since his freshman year and earned first-team honors his sophomore season as well. As the Bombers’ leadoff batter last season, he hit .371 in 62 at-bats with 23 hits, 14 RBIs, seven stolen bases and 20 runs scored.

Artale, a 6-foot-3 first basemen, returns for his third year of varsity action. He hit .288 in 66 at-bats last season with 19 hits, 17 RBIs, two homers, four stolen bases and 12 runs scored. He also has a capable arm on the hill.

Adding to the experience of the infield, senior Sam Obringer returns for his third year of varsity action. He hit .245 in 53 at-bats last season with 13 hits, nine RBIs, six stolen bases and 14 runs scored.

Bush, Artale and Obringer combined for a .940 fielding percentage in 2014.

Senior Tyler Rendlesham and freshmen Steve Szczesniak will hold down third base for the Bombers this season. Both guys can also pitch, with Rendlesham going 1-2 on the mound last season with a 3.71 ERA and 11 strikeouts. He will take on a closing role this season.

Returning with CVC honorable-mention status, meanwhile, are juniors Barrett Weber and Chad Lindner.

An outfielder, Weber hit .333 in 57 at-bats last season with 19 hits, 11 RBIs, six stolen bases and 11 runs scored. He also had a few mound appearances with a 3.00 ERA and three strikeouts.

Lindner was solely a pitcher last season, going 1-0 record with a 1.38 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.

On the mound, the Bombers’ staff consists of a lot of arms and depth, with 11 capable arms in all, but they do not have a lot of varsity experience/innings pitched coming into the 2015 season.

Also in the mix of earning time on the mound are senior Ben Princic, who went 2-2 last season with three strikeouts, senior Bradley Davis, sophomore Christian Cassaro, sophomore Ted Wharton, sophomore Josh Kain and freshman Matthew Pecoraro.

Joining Weber in the outfield this season figures to be Cassaro and Pecoraro, but Kain, senior Jared Kammer and junior Matt Shell will also spend time in the grass.

The catching position will be filled by junior Evan Starling and Cassaro.

On their spring-break trip in Florida, the Bombers were scheduled to play six games this week before returning home to host Aurora at 4:30 p.m. April 7.

The Bombers are under the helm of sixth-year head coach Bob Ford.