The Canton-Galva baseball team returns six starters from last year’s 3-16 team, and the Eagles will seek to use that experience to their advantage this season under fifth-year coach Kelly Nelson.
The Eagles will play without graduated seniors Ethan Loyd, Travis Unruh, Collin Riessig and Zach Snow, but three all-league recipients return to lead the team: second-team selection Hunter Pearson and honorable mention recipients Reed Wiens and Devyn Elkins, all juniors.
Pearson batted .333 a year ago, and will be looked to for contributions at first base, behind the plate and as designated hitter.
Wiens batted .341 and recorded a pitching record of 1-5. He will contribute at shortstop when not on the mound.
Elkins batted .400 and went 0-2 on the mound. When he’s not pitching, he will be asked to contribute in the outfield or at first base.
Additional returning starters include juniors Jordan Gagnebin (utility and pitcher) and Marshall Reedy (outfield and third base) and sophomore Logan Miller (outfield).
Newcomers to watch include juniors Jonah Sargent and Cash Toews, and freshmen Nick Pearson and Richard Peterson.
Nelson said he expects his team to be strong defensively as the Eagles’ returning experience should pay dividends this season. The team will bring chemistry and senior leadership to the field, he added.
Key to Canton-Galva’s success will be improving on last year’s .252 team batting average and developing more pitching depth.
“We will need to score more runs because of the lack of a shut-down pitcher,” Nelson said. “As always, I tell the boys to focus on the process and not the wins and losses; just keep improving and not beating ourselves.”
The Eagles were scheduled to open the season by hosting Remington March 28. Canton-Galva’s next home game will be April 18 versus Moundridge.