Central Hardin baseball went into the 2020 season looking to reach the 5th Region Tournament or higher for the 14th consecutive season.
While the Bruins didn’t get their chance to add on to this streak last year, their spirits still are high and their bond is tight.
“Our team strengths are in camaraderie. We have five seniors, 11 juniors and several underclassmen contributing,” Central Hardin coach Todd Thompson said. “At this point, we need to keep grinding away at practice and learn from every rep. We have a very coachable group of young men who have bought in to what we need to accomplish as a team and also relish their roles within the program.”
Thanks to travel ball, last year wasn’t a complete wash for a large number of Central Hardin players.
Getting these chances to compete after losing their high school season helped keep Thompson’s players sharp. It also left them wanting more.
“Our team is hungry. Many were able to play travel ball over the summer and fall, but there is nothing like high school baseball,” he said. “They were able to get the reps, but it is so refreshing to have them back. Our energy level is tremendous.”
There is a wide mix of ages among the Bruins’ starters this year.
At the plate is junior catcher Michael Kirkpatrick. Senior Dalton Compton is the team’s first baseman. Fellow senior Carson Yates is in at second base. Junior Ryan Bibb will hold down shortstop. Freshman Lucas Lee is the Bruins’ third baseman.
Juniors Raymond Goodman and Kaden Fergerson both will get time at left field. Eighth grader Lucas Thompson is the team’s center fielder. Senior Conner Partlo will patrol right field.
Central Hardin’s pitching staff is made up of seniors Partlo and Cameron McCubbins, juniors Goodman, Caden Alvey, Alex Bridgewaters, Christian Pinson, Reece Sherrard and Blake Copelin, as well as sophomore Michael Simpson.