2022 Spring Preview: Salem Baseball

By Chris Parker

Salem baseball posted an 11-15 record overall in 2021 with a runner-up finish in both the SCA conference standings and district tournament.

Six starters return from that team looking to help the Tigers to conference and district titles. Baylor Petty, Eli Wethy and Kody Crocker were the three players that graduated from last year’s team. All three earned all-conference honors.

The six returning starters include: Garrett Connell (shortstop/pitcher), Korben Barred (outfield/pitcher), Collin Heavin (outfield), Kaiden Dubois (outfield/pitcher), Haiden Sanders (catcher) and Jimmy Barton (outfield). Trethan Richter earned a letter as an infielder last year.

Connell earned second-team all-conference honors as a pitcher last year as a junior. He posted a 1.84 ERA while hitting .268 with 17 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

“Connell has formed himself into one of the best athletes in the conference and will be asked to step up and be a leader for his team this season,” Salem head coach Tony Edwards said. “Garrett has a terrific arm, great speed, and athleticism that must be shown for display this entire season in order for our team to have success.”

Barred gives Salem a second returning all-conference senior. He was named honorable mention all-conference in the outfield after he hit .229 with 12 RBI to go with 12 stolen bases.

“Korben will be asked to take a big step this year as one of our pitchers as well as take leadership in centerfield for us this season,” Edwards said. “Barred has very good speed and has a great love for the game. He will be asked to take that next step as a leader in order for the Tigers to have success this season.”


Heavin and Barton round out the returning seniors. Both will play in the outfield.

“Heavin has very good speed and we will need that speed on the bases this season,” Edwards said. “Barton is very athletic and has exceptional speed on the bases and can track down fly balls as quickly as any player in the conference. We are hoping for a good senior showing from Barton this season.”

Dubois and Sanders both started as freshmen last year.

“Kaiden Dubois played outfield last season but will be asked to transition to the infield this season. Kaiden has a good glove, good eye/contact at the plate, and will be asked to give us some quality innings this season on the mound,” Edwards said. “Haiden Sanders is our returning catcher from last season as a freshman. I expect big things from him this year as he has had a full year of varsity experience behind the plate. I look for Haiden’s pop time to increase as well as his arm strength to grow in the coming season.”

Richter lettered last year as a freshman, but will enter the starting lineup this year.

“Trethan Richter started at shortstop for most of the season at the JV level last year,” Edwards said. “However, he will be asked to play up the middle with Connell and play shortstop when Connell is on the hill this season. Trethan has an exceptional glove at such a young age, as well as, terrific plate discipline while standing in the box.”

Isaac Westerman (senior), Bronson Crocker (junior), Brenden Hanger (sophomore) and Wyatt Martin (sophomore) are other newcomers to watch.

Edwards on Westerman: “Isaac will be asked this season to step up and give us some innings on the mound as we all know pitching now days is so vital and key. Isaac will hopefully give us some good quality innings when called upon as well as being able to play the infield when Connell or Dubois is pitching.”

Edwards on Crocker: “Bronson, younger brother of Kody Crocker, will be asked to step up this year on the mound for us and give us some innings this season. Bronson is a hard worker that is very coachable and willing to do whatever is needed to add success for his team. Hopefully, he will be an important part of our pitching staff this season.”

Edwards on Hanger: “Brenden has extremely good speed and hopefully will be able to step in and play some innings in the outfield for us this season when Barred and Heavin are on the mound.”

Edwards on Martin: “Wyatt is a very athletic kid for his size. He started a few games at center for us this past football season. Martin is a first baseman who will be asked to step up and fill that missing void, as we lost Baylor Petty last season to graduation.”

Edwards is excited to get going in his first season as head coach of Salem baseball.

“I am super excited to get the opportunity to coach these young men for the first time as their head coach this spring. Our schedule won’t be easy again this season with our conference and non – conference opponents as the SCA is always a grind,” Edwards said. “Our mission as a team will be to have solid pitching and timely hitting just like every other coach hopes for in their team. Hopefully with some experience and determination from this team, we can make a few surprises with some teams this season and have some momentum going into districts come May.”

Salem opens the season on Mar. 18 at Cuba.

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