Oak Harbor High School baseball coach Cody Anderson is confident that his club will be much stronger this year.
The Wildcats struggled through a 4-16 season last spring, going 4-14 in the Wesco North and placing sixth.
“This year, I believe, is going to be much different than last year,” Anderson said. “Oak Harbor will be very good.”
Anderson, in his first year as sole head coach after sharing the duties with Tyson VanDam last year, said the goals are to win the Western Conference and “go deep into the state playoffs.”
Although Oak Harbor returns 11 lettermen, it is still a young team with only two senior letter winners, James Besaw and Corey Roberts.
Also back are juniors Thomas Anderson, Austin Boesch, Caleb Fitzgerald, John Lovendale, Aaron Martinez, Noah Miller, Ethan Pace and Taylor Rummel; and sophomore Aiden McCarthy.
The Wildcats lost five players to graduation, including three who logged most of the pitching innings.
One of the keys to success this year, according to Anderson, will be the efforts of Pace, Lovendale and Miller on the mound.
The strength of this year’s team, Anderson said, is its aggressiveness in all aspects of the game.
One of Anderson’s biggest concerns is the condition of the Oak Harbor High School baseball field. Maintenance is running late and it might be a month before the Wildcats play at home.
Anderson said OHHS is negotiating with Anacortes to see if it can use the Seahawks’ diamond for “home” games until the local field is playable.
Oak Harbor plays in the Anacortes Jamboree at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 8, then meets Ingraham (11-10 last year) at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10, at the Northwest Athletic Complex in Seattle.