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It’s been three seasons since Churubusco baseball hoisted a trophy.
Known for their dominance in the postseason, the Eagles enter the 2011 season with a chance to restore the black and gold image once feared by many in the class 2A sectional.
A bit of that fear remains with a class of eight seniors back from the title days.
Much of the Eagles power both with the bat and the ball come in the senior class. Along with it comes confidence from the Eagles.
“We’ve asked our seniors what they want out of their senior season,” Churubusco longtime head coach Mark Grove said. “They’re not happy being .500 the last two years. They’re taking it a little bit personal.
“Our kids are optimistic going into the year. They think they can play with anyone on the schedule and we have a tough schedule.”
When Grove says tough, a lot is the best among the state.
In the non-conference alone, Churubusco faces defending class 4A state champion Carroll and class 3A No. 1 ranked New Haven.
Like they have the past two seasons, the Eagles will lean on the strength of its lineup to begin the season.
“We’re going to need some runs with some injuries we’re still dealing with to our pitching staff,” Grove noted.
A heavy lineup begins with junior Alan Meeks in his second season as leadoff.
“I’m really excited about Alan starting things off for us,” Grove said. “If he can get on base he has the instincts, with the people behind, to cause teams problems on the base paths.”
Behind him stands senior bats that include three-year letter winner Jordan Turner, Braxton Siddons and Ryan Farlow all of which will help fill the middle of the Eagles lineup.
Siddons and Farlow came to ’Busco as transfers last season and will help fill a pitching staff that is mostly seniors.
“Pitching wise we’re not where we need to be yet but we’re better than last year,” Grove noted. “We were 0-5 before we could blink last season.
“With what we have going on, we’re going to have a lot of kids playing multiple positions. That’s good news and bad news. Good news, it’ll make us better down the road. Bad news is we may have some defensive lapses early on because of the inexperience.”
Other possible pitchers include: Brent Owen, Dylan Herendeen, Michael Howk, Spencer Shroyer and Austin Goepfrich.