A season that ended well leads into a season with a lot of hopes, but a lot of question marks, too.
“I’m kind of young,” Elkin Coach Steve Martin said of his team. “We’re strong up the middle. I think we’ll be good in the top of the lineup. The bottom has potential, too.
“Pitching’s always a big question mark,” he said. “We’ll only go as far as our pitching will take us.”
Daniel Brinegar, the starting catcher with Division I aspirations, may surprise on the mound. “He probably throws it harder than anybody on the team,” Martin said.
Tanner Edwards, another Buckin’ Elk with Division I aspirations and a player who saw time on varsity at the end of the 2013 season, will hit fourth in the lineup, Martin said.
Elkin enters the season as the No. 9 team in 1A, according to impactbaseball.com. Martin, who has four starters returning, said he has “no clue” why the Buckin’ Elks are ranked so high. “I figure they just go by what we did last year,” Martin said. “We went to the third round.
“They just don’t realize how much we lost.”
Elkin graduated nine from last year’s roster, including No. 1 pitcher Jamey Cranford.
The Buckin’ Elks lost their opener to Bishop McGuinness, 3-2.
Elkin baseball at a glance
Coach: Steve Martin, 8th year
Conference: Mountain Athletic
Last Year’s Record: 11-13, lost in 3rd round to Hendersonville
Returnees: Jeremy Pierce, of, Sr.; Seth Haynes, ss, Sr.; Will Altemueller, p-1b, So.; Walker Longworth, 3b, Sr.; Drew Shinkle, 2b, Sr.; Tanner Edwards, 3b-1b-p, So.; Daniel Brinegar, c-p, Jr.; Brandon Bradley, 1b-p, Sr.
Newcomers: Ras Walker, of-2b, Jr.; Aaron Lord, of-c, Jr.; Aaron Sturdivant, of-c, Jr.; Kody King, of, Jr.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.