Eagles expect to see success on the baseball diamond in 2012

The Sanford-Fritch Eagles baseball team enters 2012 expecting to have a good season and to compete for a playoff berth in District 1-2A.In 2011, the Eagles faced several difficult issues on and off the baseball field which took its toll in the win-loss column.Since last season, the Eagles baseball program is experiencing a fresh start under the leadership of new head coach Adam Watson.Watson has the luxury of seven lettermen returning from last season, led by Tate Murray, Caleb Manzella, Christian Ward, and Jarred Goodwin.The team’s experience is something Watson sees a strength for the Eagles, with him saying, “We play well together and are not afraid to work hard.”Newcomers to keep an eye on include Seth Hanifin, Ryan Blakely, and Ryan Melton.Other players on the varsity roster are Chris Bryan, Justin Frost, Trey Henry, Chris Lammons, and Colton Valle.So far this season, the Eagles had shown the ability to score a lot of runs by scoring 18 runs against Dalhart and 24 against Boys Ranch. But in losses to Pampa and Amarillo San Jacinto, the Eagles showed there are things they still need to work on before district play gets underway. Watson said, “Right now we need to learn to get going early and how to win ball games. We also need to improve our hitting against good hitters.”Going into the season, Bushland and Amarillo River Road are considered the favorites to compete for the District 1-2A title in the five team district. But the Eagles have good enough talent to battle for a playoff berth and hold their own against Bushland and River Road, if the team can stay healthy and continue to improve each game out. Watson commented, “The other teams in the district will be tough. We just need to work hard and prepare to compete with them once district play starts.”The Eagles next games are on Saturday when they host Claude in a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m.