Hermitage finished just below .500 last year with a 9-10 record overall. The Hornets must replace all-state pitcher Alex Aubuchon who struck out 100 batters in just 42 innings pitched on his way to posting a 1.17 ERA.
Sophomore Justin Mitchell will step into Aubuchon’s spot at the top of the rotation. He was third on the team in innings pitched at 20 1/3 as a freshman with a 5.85 ERA and 41 strikeouts. Senior Matt Horn will be the No. 2 starter after throwing seven total innings last year.
Blake Ball, Clay Horn, Alex Hamilton and Rory Higgins are likely to make up the infield with Bradley Forrest, Jaceton Wright, Wyatt Mooney and Mason Newcomer competing for time in the outfield.
Mitchell is the leading returning hitter for the Hornets as well after posting a .261 batting average last year. He also drove in 13 runs. Horn hit .237 with 12 RBI.
Overall this year will be a rebuilding season for the Hornets with limited varsity experience returning.
“Our team will need to improve in every area. We only have five guys on the roster with any varsity experience and only two of them have significant varsity experience,” Coach Joe Nicholson said. “The season will be a success if we can just get better each day.”
Hermitage opens the season on Mar. 16 at Wheatland.