13s to rely on pitching depth
Can pitching carry Janesville’s 13-year-old baseball tournament team?
That question will be answered beginning Saturday when Janesville opens up play in the 12-team, double-elimination Ohio Valley Regional at Matoon, Ill.
Janesville plays the winner of today’s opening-round game between Pendleton County, W.V., and Jasper, Ind., at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Janesville coach Tom Davey has a deep and talented pitching staff, led by the one-two punch of Connor Perkins and Zach Bailey.
“The key for this team is the fact that most if not all of these kids have valuable tournament experience from their Little League days,” Janesville coach Tom Davey said. “That has paid big dividends for us already, especially at state. We’ve been tested more than once, and these kids haven’t flinched.”
Perkins will start the team’s opening game, followed by Bailey in game two. Janesville’s starting infield will have Hunter Yerke at first, Sam Carlson at second, Bryce Pass or Connor Osmond at short and Landen Graham at third. Bailey will catch the opener.
Janesville’s outfield has Chase Nyborg in left, Erik Woelfle in center and Sam Iverson in right.
Davey also praised the play of reserves Jake Hackett, Colin Potter, Adam Carlson, Hunter Van Zandt and Treyton Christiansen.
Nyborg, Osmond and Van Zandt are expected to follow Perkins and Bailey in the pitching rotation.
“I’ve got five quality starting pitchers, and in a double-elimination tournament, that can make a big difference,” Davey said.
“My biggest concern heading into Saturday is offensively. We’re putting the ball it play, but we’re not getting enough quality at-bats. We have to do a better job of utilizing our team speed, which starts by putting the ball on the ground.”
Jim Kauss and Paul Kurtz are the assistant coaches.