First-year Valley Head Baseball Coach Jeremy Bucher, who will try his luck on turning around the Lumberjack baseball program, will have only 11 players at his disposal to open the 2014 campaign.
However, nine of the players are quality players that are returning lettermen, while the other two are freshmen. "As long as we don't get anyone hurt we should be in good shape for the season," said Bucher. "With the low numbers out, we will need the players to be able to play different positions."
The Lumberjacks will use returning First Team OVAC pitcher Brandon Stoneking as their ace on the mound, while freshman flame-thrower Colby Bucher and juniors Pete Shaw and Peyton Palmer will see some action on the hill as well.
Their battery-mate looks to be senior standout Triston Kocher, while also using junior Taylor Bates, sophomore Dusty Lowe, and the freshman Bucher.
When not pitching, Stoneking will hold down first, while Shaw, Lowe, Bucher, and newcomer Griffith Piggett will get their fare share at 1B, too.
At second, short, or third base it will be either senior Caleb Palmer, Peyton Palmer, Bates, Colton Ring, Lowe or Bucher to fill the spots.
All six of these guys can play the infield. And those who don't start there will see plenty of action, depending who is pitching.
The outfield is shaping up with Caleb Palmer in right, Triston Kocher in center, when he isn't catching, and Hayden Lancaster in left. Bucher will see time in centerfield, while Bates and Paggett will see some time in right field.
The Lumberjacks can play the long ball or they can play the short game, as Bucher will have his troops ready to bunt and slap hit as well as hit for power.
Helping Bucher mold the band of players is his father, Perry, who had coached at Valley 22 years ago under then Head Coach Thomas Snodgrass.
If Valley can stay away from that injury bug, Valley can be very good and compete with anyone. But if they get a couple guys injured, it could doom their season.