FAIRMOUNT — The Madison-Grant baseball team will have a new manager at the helm this season as they look to improve upon a six-win 2013 campaign.
Ryan Wides, who completed his four-year baseball career at the University of Indianapolis last spring, takes over the program from Bengie Rodriquez in what will be a chance to rebuild a winner.
The Argylls won a sectional title in 2012 but struggled last year after being hit hard by graduation. Madison-Grant lost Tyler McClellan, Andrew Schwinn, Jacob Bair, Justin Sollars and Connor Michener from the 2013 squad but returns plenty of players with experience.
Wides, a standout two-sport athlete at Noblesville, will have seniors Austin Purkey, Caleb Wybrew, Luke Brown and Alex Garringer coming back in 2014.
Purkey is projected to be the starting centerfielder, while Wybrew, Brown and Garringer will be the starting infield along with sophomore shortstop Seth Nash.
Also returning will be junior Dakota Brooks, whom Wides will count on as his top starting pitcher. Nash and Brown also look to spend time on the mound this year.
Wides feels the team will not be a home-run hitting team but rather one that will get runners on and put pressure on the opponent with speed.
“We don’t have too many power hitters,” Wides said. “But we feel that guys like Wybrew and Purkey can run, and Nash can produce for us.”
Rounding out the lineup will be catcher Levi Bott, Briar Hoskins in left and a platoon of Hoyt Young and Arlen Coats in right.
The Argylls have spent the spring practice period working mainly on pitching and defense according to Wides, two key areas to a team’s success.
The Argylls will be in a tough Central Indiana Conference, but Wides feels they will be in the thick of it.