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TAYLORVILLE —Front row left to right: Kade Beckmier, Myles Clayton, Luke Ellinger, Tucker Tippitt, Drew Sample, Jaden Mathon, Blake Sample, Hunter Gerlick, Jackson Myers, Karter Ostermeier, Seth Hughes
Back row left to right: Carter Thomas, Aden Toberman, Kamren Heimsness, Addison Jeffrey, Briar Dempsey, Baron Odam, Casey Stickel, Drake Howard, Griffin Porter, Isaiah Aten
Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Photo
Breeze-Courier Sports Editor
TAYLORVILLE — After an 8-11 abbreviated season in 2021 the Taylorville varsity Baseball team is ready to give this season a ride.
Brian Sample is going into his seventh year as the Tornadoes Head baseball Coach. He and the team are putting in the work to compete with the tough competition that the Apollo conference has to offer.
“The Apollo conference is one of the best baseball conferences around.” says Sample “We have a lot of experience coming back and hopefully that equates to a winning season.”
The conference is loaded with phenomenal Division one hopefuls pitching 90+ mph. The games will be decided by much more than a series or two.
“It’s tough to zero in on one group since the conference is decided by playing Saturday DoubleHeaders.”
When asked about the teams goals for this season the answer is simple… compete.
“Goals are to compete every night and be ready for postseason in Mid- May”
The team is returning All-Conference short stop/pitcher Casey Stickel. The Tornado senior was also awarded All-Area nods in 2021. Three-sport senior Kamren Heimsness will take the field for his final time along with Jackson Myers, Karter Ostermeier, Briar Dempsey, Hunter Garlic and Tucker Tippitt. THS senior, Jaden Mathon, will step up this year and play Center Field along with some pitching as well.
The eight seniors will lead Luke Ellinger, Aden Toberman and the seven other juniors into battle.
Sample is confident in the upperclassman but doesn’t soon forget the newcomers
“We have a few underclass kids that could help tremendously.”
The team has no sophomores but they do have three freshman Drake Howard, Baron Odam and Kade Beckmier. They will add freshness to an already talented varsity team for what should be another solid year of Taylorville baseball.
“It is a hard game in a tough conference but we have confident guys ready to get after it.” Sample states.