AU SABLE FORKS - Graduation was hard on the Patriots as they lost seven key starters, but this year's AuSable Valley baseball team is showing lots of promise.
"We are very young, but I do think we can compete with anybody on any given day," said head coach Randy Douglas. "Our strengths are that we have a very good defensive team. We will also have quite a few contact hitters in our lineup.
AVCS returns four starters from last year's squad including junior T.J. Burl, who was named as a CVAC All-Star last year, accounting for many of the Patriots' hits. Seniors Curtis Loreman, Jordan Bezio, and A.J. Gordon are all proven players in the starting lineup.
Pitching ace Alex LaFountain also returns for his senior year, though he is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered earlier this year.
"We are very hopeful he can make it though the year," said Douglas, noting an otherwise inexperienced pitching rotation.
The Patriots will rely heavily on their new players: senior Kyle Doner; junior John Sikander; sophomores Kyle Sprague and Sawyer Taro; freshmen Dustin Miller and Kodie Simpson; and eighth-grader Dillon Savage.
AuSable Valley Baseball Schedule
April 19 - Ticonderoga
April 21 - At Northern Adirondack
April 23 - Seton Catholic
April 26 - At Northeastern Clinton
April 28 - Peru
April 30 - Lake Placid
May 4 - Plattsburgh
May 6 - At Moriah
May 8 - At Saranac (10 a.m.)
May 11 - At Ticonderoga
May 13 - Saranac Lake
May 15 - Northern Adirondack (10 a.m.)
May 18 - At Beekmantown
May 20 - At Seton Catholic
May 22 - At Lake Placid
May 24 - Moriah