Sophomores dominate Washington roster
Washington has senior shortstop/pitcher Robert Cross as its lone remaining thread to last year’s starting lineup.
Dominating the youthful Patriot roster are 12 sophomores out of the 19 players listed for the 2016 team.
Cross did some pitching last season, but was mainly used as the third baseman. The left-handed hitter has signed to play next year for coach Wayne Riser at Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Timmy Joy, a pitcher/first baseman, is one of the other three seniors around and the other two are pitcher/first baseman Owen Schiffhauer and pitcher/outfielder Devin Kerr. The three juniors are outfielder Brady Cross, pitcher/third baseman Jack Dubyak and pitcher/outfielder Jerrett Brumm.
The large contingent of sophomores graduating from the 2015 jayvee team and elsewhere include utility man Spencer Delawder, infielder/pitcher Trey Virts, catcher Cameron Pine, outfielder/pitcher Hunter Baker, infielder Cullen Watson, pitcher/outfielder Gavin Cross, pitcher/outfielder Nathan Kerr, utility man Craig Link, infielder/outfielder John Dodson, pitcher/third baseman Zach Depoy, catcher Blair Schiffhauer and catcher/outfielder Dalton Jackson.
Youth has to be served if Washington is going to be a menace to the other five area teams and in South Carolina during its annual spring trip to the week-long tournament played in Myrtle Beach.
Robert Cross is obviously the most experienced and most dangerous hitter the Patriots possess.
A thoroughly inexperienced pitching staff that lists a possible 12 candidates for roles of some kind could be the key as to whether Washington can develop into a dangerous team as the season reaches late April.
Most teams without game-toughened players “up the middle” (catcher, shortstop, second base, centerfield) have some defensive problems. The Patriots will probably be tested early and often by opponents that want to run against their catchers.
What can coach Mark Hash do to protect Robert Cross in the middle of his lineup?
Washington begins its search for the many questions surrounding this team today (March 18) when it travels over to Hagerstown to see a team much like itself in St. Maria Goretti.
On March 19, Frankfort visits the Patriots and then on Tuesday one of the better teams on Washington’s schedule in Mercersburg Academy is coming to Bruce Davidson Field for a 4:30 p.m. game.
Next Thursday, March 24, the Patriots go across county for their first of two games this season against Jefferson. That game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The season isn’t even two months in length . . . but the maturation rate of Hash’s brigade of sophomores has to be rapid-paced for them to compete well in 2016.