Defensive woes plagued the Ridge View baseball team this spring, but the Blazers still managed to make the state playoff cut out of Region 4-4A in Robbie Hardy’s first season as head coach.
Ridge View finished with a 10-15 record, and 4-6 mark in region play.
“It was an up and down year for us, we started off slow but started playing well after spring break,” said Hardy.
“We were not consistent on defense (84 errors in 23 games). We were an inexperience team and it showed at times but the kids played hard and competed in each game. Our seniors continued our tradition of being in the playoffs with a deciding region game against Lancaster that put us in the playoffs.”
The Blazers bid farewell to five senior starters, including four-year starter Hughston Armstrong and three-year starter Scotty Baldwin. Armstrong will continue his career at The Citadel, while Baldwin will play at USC-Sumter. The other departing seniors include catcher Austin Ross, center fielder Michael Hixenbaugh and infielder Kevin Gratton.
Baldwin and Ross were Ridge View’s all-region picks this season. Baldwin had a 3-3 record and three saves and a 3.05 ERA. Ross hit .371 with five home runs and 21 RBIs.
Alex Snider 1B/P, Evan Rybicki SS, Brenton Smith P/SS/3B, Tyler Romanik 3B are the only returning starters expected to return in 2011.
“Next season will again be a challenging one for us because we will compete in a new region with a lot of tough teams,” said Hardy.
“We will work hard to improve our defense and cut down on the amount of errors we had this past season. We will need to develop some young pitchers to help out our veteran guys. We have a lot of good young talent but need to play better defensively and get some guys that can throw strikes on the mound.”