War Eagles have young, but more experienced, team

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The Clayton Ridge/Central baseball team is finally getting some age and experience, a development head coach Zach Mueller said will be a strength this season.

“The bulk of our players are sophomores, many of which have played varsity for the past two seasons. This group is very coachable and wants to keep progressing,” added Mueller, who’s in his 10th year with the team and sixth as head coach. Kole Brandel and Tony Smith return as assistant coaches.

Mueller said the War Eagles’ pitching and defense will be solid, but the team will have to continue to find offense as the season goes along. 

“We’ll have to find ways to put pressure on opposing defenses and score more runs,” he said.

Clayton Ridge/Central will be led by Hazen Loan, a second team all-conference outfielder in 2019, as well as Drake Ostrander and Caleb Helle, who were both honorable mention all-conference infielders a year ago.

Mueller also anticipates big things out of Caden Helle and Elliot Kelly.

“Both got off to great starts for us a year ago starting on varsity as eighth graders, but both suffered injuries and missed the second half of the season,” the coach noted. “It’ll be exciting to see what they can do when healthy.”

Mueller hasn’t pin-pointed any key match-ups on the War Eagle schedule. He’s simply excited to spend another summer with the team, playing baseball and learning life lessons.

“Several weeks ago, we didn’t think this would be possible, so we are all very thankful and are trying to make the most of it,” he said. “This group has worked hard and success is on its way.”

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