Spartan Baseball season underway

The Grundy Center baseball team began its season this week, and is off to a 1-1 start. The Spartans opened with a 14-5 loss at Sumner-Fredericksburg Tuesday, and bounced back with a 4-3 win over AGWSR Wednesday.

After many of the Spartan baseball players made deep postseason runs in their spring sports, Head Coach Pat Brown Jr. is excited to have the entire team together and is ready to get to work.

"Since the day in January we started, this is the first time everybody has been together," Brown says. "Just relishing the fact that we've got a lot of good kids, good athletes, getting them together and in the right place. As coaches, Jason and I need to just get out of the way and let them do their thing."

A staple of this year’s team is expected to be a deep pitching staff. Junior Tate Jirovsky and sophomore Jaren Lauver are expected to be the #1 and #2 starters, and pitched the most innings last season among returning players. Brown says a few other standouts will be shuffled into games to keep arms as fresh and available as possible.

"Ryker Thoren would be a guy we could slide in. Brayden Davie is a freshman, but he throws strikes, so we could slide him in. Tanner Laube, a left-handed kid, hasn't pitched a lot, but he can throw strikes. It's your main course with Tate and Jaren, get them rolling to that 65-pitch count, where you can pull them and still use them in a day or two, then let Ryker or someone like that close the game out. It gives you a lot of options. We were very successful doing that last year. We're going to have to get those guys that were fill in guys to be the actual guys."

The Spartans will need to replace a good portion of the hitting power at the plate. Jirovsky, Colin Gordon, Ryker Thoren and Patrick Brown III will be expected to lead offensively. Jirovsky is the returning offensive leader from a numbers perspective, after batting .315 and recording 23 base hits last year.

After a trip to Gladbrook-Reinbeck for a single game Thursday, the Spartans will resume play after Memorial Day, hosting South Hardin for a doubleheader Tuesday.

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