Veteran Lancers ready to shine

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Gilmour Academy opens the 2018 season with seven returning starters, a host of seniors to provide the leadership and a couple talented newcomers who should be able to contribute right away.

That has Lancers head coach Jay Fowler optimistic about the new season.

“We have a great returning group of seniors who have a lot of varsity experience from the past several years that we will look to rely on,” Fowler said. “In addition, we have a nice crop of returning juniors who look to make a bigger impact at the varsity level after their first year of varsity experience last year, a versatile sophomore who can compete with anyone defensively, and a high-impact freshman both on the mound and at the plate.”

The Lancers, who finished 13-8 last season, have five seniors in their projected everyday lineup including All-District second team honoree Owen Corcoran, a left fielder who hit .353 last season with a .522 on-base percentage, and utility player Logan Wright, a Walsh University recruit who hit .317 with 16 runs batted in.

The other seniors are first baseman John Ramski (.321 with five doubles), third baseman Colt Corpse and center fielder Johnny Hollis.

Junior catcher Nick Christopher returns after earning all-district honorable mention with a .323 batting average and 14 RBI and right fielder Jack Krebs looks to build on a solid season in which he recorded a .356 on-base percentage and knocked in 12 runs.

Sophomore Matt Christopher had a solid freshman season and Fowler expects to see continued development out of him. Freshman Ben DeMell cracked the starting lineup at shortstop.

“With the amount of returning players and experience they have, we can focus a great deal of attention on enhancing the already laid foundational skills that they each have and really challenge our guys to think about the game of baseball with a high level of focus,” Fowler said. “Our expectations are the same every season; get better every day and show up with great attitude and effort.”

DeMell, Corcoran, Wright, Corpse and Hollis are projected to handle most of the pitching duties.

Corcoran finished the year 4-1 with a 2.67 earned run average and struck out 24 while Hollis was 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA.

The Lancers have high expectations for the season and it all begins with approaching each game with the proper mindset and putting in the work to improve each and every day.

“We need to come to work every day with great effort and attitude in order to get better than we were the day before,” Fowler said.

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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.