by Jamie Harris
Last year, the Berkeley Springs High School Indians Baseball Team was one win away from a state tournament appearance. However, the Tribe lost the best of three series to Weir two games to one. While the loss in the regional title game seems like a distant memory the 2018 Indians baseball team is using that as motivation to reach the Class AA State Baseball Championships.
The Tribe went 16-15 last year and collected the Class AA Sectional Championship and was the Class AA Region I runner up. The team lost only one senior from that team as Brandon Keenan who was instrumental to the Tribe’s postseason run is now a student at WVU.
The Tribe will be returning five seniors from last year’s team led by second team all-state outfield and pitcher Tobin Cain, honorable mention all-state members Andrew Butts (shortstop and pitcher) and Justin Stone (first baseman).
Also back for the Tribe is senior pitcher and third baseman Michael Hovermale. Hovermale was a key pitcher in the Indians postseason run as well with his commanding control on the mound. Senior second baseman Ayden Lackey also returns along with senior Seth Lantz.
Returning juniors for the Indians are left field Anthony Clark, catcher Colby Farris and pitcher Cameron King. The Tribe will have juniors David Grapes (pitcher), EJ Barkley (pitcher/infield), Larry Miller (outfield) and Payton Mann (outfield). Returning sophomores are second baseman/pitcher Cole Morris and right field/pitcher Luke Spielman. Sam Ambrose also a sophomore will be on the varsity roster.
“In the 2017 season we peaked at the right time. We made a run into the post season by playing solid defense and effective pitching. Pitcher, Brandon Keenan was our only loss to graduation from last year’s team. We have returned every position player from 2017 and added some men that I feel will contribute this season. We have solid pitchers with varsity experience and confident hitters at the plate. We expect to build on our success from a season ago and our goal is to win a state title. We’ve been working together since they were little leaguers to reach that goal. It will be a fun year of baseball in Berkeley Springs,” stated Tribe head baseball coach Les Morris.