Melcher-Dallas varsity baseball coach Pat Ferguson has rebuilt the Saints’ program after the school dropped the sport due to lack of interest back in 2014. That was followed by a winless 2015 campaign.
Those years seem much longer than that. Ferguson has put the town back on the map, along with the athletes he has worked with over the years.
Ferguson will be starting his fifth year with the varsity. In 2017 the Saints were 13-13. The mark dipped to 10-15 a year ago.
Missing from the 2018 squad are four seniors who have departed via graduation, Paul Karpan, Sam Houston, Noah Avila and Josh Davenport.
Back from a year ago to lead the way for the Saints are six returning starters. The list includes seniors Dalton Lovell (CF), Blaise Cooper (LF), Eric Karpan (P/RF) and sophomores Ryan Krpan (SS/P), Steven Krpan (RF/P) and freshman Cole Metz (C).
“The strength of our team is hopefully senior leadership. The weakness at a small school is always quality pitching,” Ferguson said.
Lovell is a returning unanimous first-team All-Bluegrass Conference selection a year ago and Cooper a second-team pick.
“In the upcoming season I expect our team to go out and battle every pitch, every at bat and every inning. Wins will come if we come ready to play everyday,” he stated.
The coach has high expectations for some young players on the team, the Krpan twins and Cole Metz are among the ones listed.
“All of them have seen a lot of varsity time already and they have become stronger and bigger during the off-season,’”Ferguson commented.
Odds and Ends
The Saints will open at home Thursday, May 23 against the Twin Cedars Sabers staring at 5 p.m.
The Pleasantville Trojans come to town May 29 for a 5 p.m. contest as well.