2019 Spring Preview: Bolivar Baseball


By Kary Booher (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

In the minor leagues, you often hear the old motto that, “It’s now how you start but how you finish.”

Cue, then, last year’s highlights of the Bolivar High School baseball team. The Liberators finished 15-10 after reeling off nine consecutive wins – claiming a district championship in the process – before falling to Jefferson City Helias Catholic in the sectionals.

Certainly, it’s motivation now that a new spring is upon Bolivar and longtime coach Brad Roweton, who has seven returning lettermen – including five starters – back from a year ago.

“The first hurdle we will have is sorting out the pecking order on the team,” Roweton said. “There should be a lot of personal motivation involved with that and quite honestly all of us are excited about getting that process officially started.”

This marks Roweton’s 24th year as a head coach, in which he is 317-277 overall, including 96-53 in seven seasons at Bolivar.

Keep eyes on seniors Jack Hadank, Brock Pitts, Joey Vote, Peyton Wine, juniors Cooper Hitchcock and Jamison Jones and sophomore Bo Banner.

Hadank is a two-year starter who pitches and plays infield defense. He was a first team all-conference and all-district selection.


“Jack is one of those players that can play anywhere on the field. He also saw time at catcher, which may be one of his best positions,” Roweton said.

Pitts, a two-year starter, earned honorable mention all-conference and first team all-district as an infielder last year. He plays infield and outfield.

Vote, who was an honorable mention all-district selection, also is a two-year starter in the outfield.

“Joey has good speed and instincts, which should help him be successful wherever he ends up playing,” Roweton said.

Wine charged into the starting rotation last year, earning a lot of trust. He also can play in the infield.

“Very few coaches end the year with the same starting nine as what they start with,” Roweton said. “Each player just needs to do his best to be ready, if and when, he gets an opportunity.”

Hitchcock offers some nice speed, and Jones was among the team’s top pitchers last year. His season was interrupted last year because of a hand injury. Banner’s strong arm and versatility will be an asset, and he got a taste of varsity last year, becoming the team’s designated hitter by season’s end.

Bolivar has 16 other newcomers.

They are: senior Cameron Branstetter, juniors Hayden Burks, Cooper Bushey, Andrew Johnson, Gage Mann, and Zeke Partin, sophomores Jacob Anderson, Corey Cantrell, Parker Erickson, Raif Fullerton, Reed Fullerton, Ryan Hadank, Dylan Hall, Luke Meents, Land Rauch and Heath Robertson.

“There are at least 10 guys on the roster that have an opportunity to fill open positions or take someone’s starting position,” Roweton said. “We have a good freshman class coming in as well. That all being said, practice is going to be interesting when we can get everyone on the same field and start seeing some separation. The last two years, we have gotten big contributions from underclassmen and we expect more of the same this year.”

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