Spring sports preview: Coupeville High School baseball

Last year the Coupeville High School baseball team was young and inexperienced. This year, the team is only young.

Coach Willie Smith returns nine lettermen but only two, pitcher Brandt Bodamer and outfielder Zach McCormick, are seniors.

Also back are juniors infielder Drew Chan and outfielder Paul Schmakeit and sophomores pitcher/infielder Ben Etzell, catcher/pitcher Jake Tumblin, outfielder/pitcher Wade Schaef, outfielder Kurtis Smith, infielder Morgan Payne and first baseman Brian Norris.

Payne hit .333 last year and Chan recorded a .606 on-base-average, both tops on the team. Tumblin posted the second best OBA (.467), led the team in walks (10) and was second in stolen bases (eight).

Etzell, who missed half of last year with an injury, hit .292 and had a 2.21 ERA in 13 innings.

Coach Smith said freshmen pitcher/outfielder Korbin Korzan and infielders Josh Bayne and Kyle Bodamer “could end up getting some significant time as well.”

“Last year was a huge learning curve for our sophomores,” Smith said. “Our goal is to win more games, but more importantly, be competitive every game and get dramatically better by the end of the season. Our sophomores will be greatly improved and will be able to help our freshmen make the adjustments that they had to learn on the fly last year.”

Smith doesn’t see their youth as a problem because his team is experienced. He added, “They have committed to our team goals and have worked hard in the weight room in the off-season to get prepared for this season.”

The Wolves had only two seniors last year, but those two handled most of the pitching duties. Smith said, “We have some live arms and strong work ethics so I feel that we will get there sooner rather than later.”

Coupeville, which was 2-16 last year, starts the season with three home nonleague games. Saturday, March 10, it meets Concrete at 11 and Adna at 3 p.m., and Monday, March 12, faces Port Townsend at 3:30 p.m.

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