March 30, 2013 7:00 a.m. —
One team has a new coaching staff and a bunch of new starters. And the other team is an entirely new program playing in a wholly foreign classification.
The 2013 baseball season will certainly be a voyage into the unknown for the Conneaut and Meadville high school teams as both search for a path to victory in District 10’s new-look Region 6.
“Yeah, and the first question is,” remarked Conneaut head coach Todd Greenawalt, “when is this snow going to stop?”
Bulldogs are building
Baseball season is already a week old, and few teams have had a chance to step outside at all, let alone get in any of their scheduled games.
At least Meadville got to play a couple during a trip down to South Carolina last weekend.
Getting some time on the diamond is crucial for the Bulldogs as first-year head coach Bruce Stewart guides a team that graduated five seniors (including all-region picks Terence Goodrum, Alex Glatch and Corey Lynn); had one former starter (all-region pitcher/utility Matt Thompson) move to Saegertown; another (Harry Boyer) move to Jamestown; and another starter (center fielder Colton McCurdy) not come out for the team this year.
“We lost quite a few people,” said Stewart, a 1992 Meadville graduate and former junior varsity, American Legion and Little League coach. “We’ll be doing some learning on the fly. I think we’ll get a lot better as we go. And by the end of the year we should be a tough out for people once everyone gets a grasp on what we’re teaching and the program in general.”
The trip down south was not quite a success as far as wins and losses go — the Bulldogs fell to Taylor Allderdice 16-6 and then lost to South Park 16-1. But the trip did serve to give Stewart and the new coaching staff, which includes Dana Scheppleman and Jason Bustamante, a look at where the team’s talent resides.
“When you look at the scores, it wasn’t too good,” Stewart said. “But I think it was productive. We learned a lot. I had only seen a couple kids play before this. And I was worried more about putting them in certain positions and seeing who could handle what than I was about winning or losing.
“I got a good idea of what we’re dealing with. I thought the kids played well.”