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    2024 Baseball Preview: Crestwood Red Devils

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    Crestwood isn’t exactly in a rebuilding year, but the Red Devils enter the 2024 season with no seniors on the roster.

    The Red Devils, who finished last season 4-16 overall and 2-10 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division, do return seven starters and three other letter winners.

    “We are still very young having no senior players this year but are returning 10 letter winners, so despite our youth, we return with playoff experience with seven returning starters,” said Crestwood coach Chris Stanley. “Six of our sophomores are vying for starting positions and will see a lot of varsity time. (We have) a lot of promise as long as we overcome injuries. If our pitching and defense hold, we will be in every contest.”

    Short on numbers, the Red Devils must stay healthy and focus on consistency in each game to find success this spring.

    “We still don’t have the numbers that a healthy program needs to compete on the varsity stage and develop in the JV ranks,” Stanley said. “(We have our) highest total roster to date, but still not where it needs to be. Obviously, we need to stay healthy and play fundamental baseball. Not having field time, which everyone struggles with, is probably the hardest thing to manage so we just have to be creative and get the work in somehow.”

    Despite their youth, the Red Devil lineup has gained its share of experience over the past couple of seasons.

    “We are young but have valuable varsity experience in 14 returning players,” Stanley said. “Couple that with the work the staff and the players have put in, we feel we can play fundamental baseball and compete on every play. Our kids are hungry and have something to prove. We have earned nothing yet, so they know they have to develop an identity that is defined through their style of play.”

    Crestwood’s keys to success start with its pitching staff and defense. The Red Devils also make the most of their at-bats.

    “I can’t stress that enough,” Stanley said. “As far as offense goes, we cannot afford to have at-bats and not put the ball in play. On-base-percentage is the highest priority short of getting on base with a base hit.”

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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