After winning just one game during a rainy 2013 spring, the Newburg High School baseball team is ready to turn the corner this fall.
And the Wolves have a couple of big, sturdy pitchers – one a left-hander and one a right-hander – to lean on.
Newburg is scheduled to open the spring season on Thursday at Frisco League rival Dixon.
Russ Mudd resumes the role as Wolf head coach this spring. Mudd last coached the team in the 2011-12 school year. Last season Chris Thiltgen served as coach, but he recently took a job outside the school district, and Mudd will replace him for this season.
"They have been working really hard this fall on the mental aspect of the game," Mudd said of his players. "Pitching-wise we're trying to throw two strikes for every one ball. We're trying to limit our walks. Defensively our goal is two or less errors per game. And offensively we're trying to limit our strikeouts to five or less per game."
Mudd has 17 players on the roster, including nine with starting experience from last season.
The Wolves' top two pitchers are senior right-hander Tristan Hoffman and senior lefty Alan Yelton. Those two figure to get the bulk of the varsity starts on the mound for Newburg.
Other pitchers include junior right-hander Jamie Stevenson, junior left-hander Troy Constable and sophomore right-hander Dustin Reagan.
Catching those pitchers will be junior Joey Brinkley.
Around the infield Constable will be at first base while Reagan is at second, junior Hunter Rigsby at shortstop and sophomore Caleb Wofford at third base.
Outfield starters include senior Tevis Elbert in left, Stevenson in center and sophomore Tristen Kattich in right.
In addition, Yelton will see action at first base and centerfield when he's not pitching.
Mudd says he has a group of sophomores and freshmen who will be of help down the road when they gain more experience. They include sophomores Jacob Leverson and Justin Barnwell and freshmen Seth Grisham, Ryker Travis, Hunter Whittaker, Andy Yelton and Logan Doerr.
"Hoffman is hitting the ball real well and Constable and (Alan) Yelton are hitting the ball well," Mudd said. "Defensively I've been pleased with our overall play. And I'm really pleased with the hard work they are putting in."
The 2013 Newburg spring baseball schedule:
Aug. 29...at Dixon, 5 p.m.
Aug. 30...Steelville, 5 p.m.
Sept. 6...at Licking, 5 p.m.
Sept. 10...at Plato, 5 p.m.
Sept. 11...Bourbon, 5 p.m.
Sept. 19...Vienna, 5 p.m.
Sept. 21...Vienna Tourney, tba
Sept. 23...at Stoutland, 5 p.m.
Sept. 24...at Iberia, 5 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - Sept. 30...at Steelville, 5 p.m.
Oct. 1...Crocker, 5 p.m.
Oct. 5...Newburg Tourney, tba