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With a respectable record of 9-11 last year, the Tulpehocken High School baseball team just missed making the District 3-AA playoffs. This year, the Trojans would like to qualify for the district playoffs, and they may have the talent to do it.
The Trojans will lose just two starters from last year’s team, Ross Baver and Jesse Miller. They are both big losses, but they have a lot of talent coming back.
The bad news is that there will be a lot of competition within their division as Oley and Kutztown will both have a lot of talent and experience, as will Wyomissing which loses just one starter.
Tulpehocken will be a very experienced team, especially where it matters most - the pitching staff. The Trojan staff will be led by pitchers Dan Louviaux, (returning all-division player and senior) Eric Hartranft (Jr.) and Matt Martin (So.). All three pitched at the varsity level last year.
Louviaux was 5-3 on the mound last year, but will also help his team with the bat as well. Last year he hit .361 with 17 runs scored. When he wasn’t pitching, he was steady at the shortstop position.
Hartranft was 3-4 as a pitcher for the Trojans and hit .283 for the season. He will also be a first base when not pitching.
Martin saw some time on the varsity mound last year when he was a freshman. He’ll get more chances to show what he has this season.
Third baseman Curtis Hershey (Jr.) will also be back after hitting .341 last year with 11 RBIs.
Junior Aaron Schneck will return to centerfield after a All-Division season last year in which he hit .313 with 24 runs scored.
“He will lead-off and spark what looks to be an explosive lineup,” said Head Coach Brent Johnson.
The Trojans have a lot of talent coming back from last year’s team, but only three of them, Louviaux, Clint Keeney (1b) and Derek Kissling (2b) are seniors. The trio will be counted on heavily to be the leadership of the team.
Brian Mellen and Brandon Hartranft are two other outfielders back for the 2013 season, as is catcher/DH Avery Bachman.
The Trojans are full of talent, experience and depth this year. Of course, so are several other teams in the division. If Tulpehocken is going to rise ahead of the others in the division, there will have to be some players who greatly improve their game from last year. Of course, the other teams in the division are probably thinking the same thing.
The Trojans open their season at Muhlenberg on March 19. The Berks League season will get underway on March 27, then they travel to Antietam.