Spring preview: Coupeville High School baseball

Getting back to the state tournament is the primary goal of this year’s Coupeville High School baseball team.

The Wolves, 7-14 in 2009, dropped their first playoff game last spring after going deep into the tournament in 2008.

Coach Willie Smith said, “Our kids are really focused this year and really want to get back into the tournament. They are a great group to work with and are the type of kids that coaches really appreciate because of their work ethic, drive to succeed and ability to get each other better. Our staff is really excited about this year and can’t wait to get started.”

That start will be Tuesday, March 16, at home against Concrete at 4 p.m.

Smith has a “strong veteran core” led by six senior lettermen.

Pitcher-outfielder J.D. Wilcox, who was a first-team all-Cascade Conference outfielder last year, and pitcher-outfielder Jason Bagby, a second team pick as a pitcher his sophomore year, lead the class.

Other senior returnees include catcher Chase Griffin, infielder Chad Brookhouse, outfielder Kevin Eaton and infielder-outfielder Erik King.

Two junior letter winners also return: infielder-pitcher Ian Smith and outfielder-pitcher Alex McClain.

Key newcomers, according to coach Smith, are outfielders senior Erik Wheat, junior Sean Thurman and sophomore Brandt Bodamer.

Smith said his team has the ability to hit in the gaps, move runners along and play good defense. His major concern is pitching depth. He said, “We play three games a week so we will really need J.D., Ian and Alex to give us some strong outings and eat up some innings. League-wise, I feel we can be in the top three and really push the top teams in our league.”

The top teams are expected to be defending 2A state champion Cedarcrest, Archbishop Murphy and Lakewood.

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