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TC baseball returns experienced seniors, deep junior class

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Triton Central junior Matt Guhl attempts to beat out a throw at first base in a game last season. Guhl is one memeber of a deep junior class for the TC baseball team.
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By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

FAIRLAND -- Finishing one game over .500 last season, the Tigers return three talented seniors and a “deep” junior class in a new campaign. According to head coach Justin Bergman, expectations are high for Triton Central.

Bergman and TC finished 13-12 last season but just 1-6 in the Indiana Crossroads Conference. With a loaded roster returning, Bergman in confident the conference wins will come.

Senior Austin Harmon, who helped the team earn a 19-0 season-opening win over Irvington Prep last Friday, will lead the team on the mound. Harmon tallied 13 strikeouts last season to go with a 2.69 ERA.

Seniors Daniel Peterson and Joe Burgess also return for TC. Burgess was 2-for-3 at the plate in limited action last season, while Peterson was out with a broken ankle suffered during wrestling. 

“The conference is going to be a battle. The ICC is very competitive," Bergman said. "We lost three games last year in late innings. We really worked over the summer on finishing. We want to win our league and win the county tournament. The 16-17-18 win range is a very obtainable number for this group. But we have to come out and play and not beat ourselves.”

Junior Matt Guhl (shortstop) leads seven juniors on the team after hitting .313 last season. He also collected 18 RBIs. Juniors Aaron Steele (second base) and Colton Brown (first base) both hit .281 last season and are back. Steele finished with 16 RBIs and Brown had 10.

Guhl and junior Conor O’Neill (outfield) led the team with two home runs a year ago. O’Neill finished with nine RBIs and a .273 batting average.

“We just have a huge junior class,” Bergman said.

Junior Keyan McKee (centerfield), sophomores Aidan Huffman (outfield) and Keaton Kermode (catcher) and freshman Hayden Kermode (third base) will also contribute in the starting lineup this season.

Bergman believes the team’s athleticism up and down the lineup and on the mound will serve it well against a tough schedule and conference. The Tigers showed their depth in their first win with seven players combining for nine hits.

On the mound, behind Harmon, Steele and McKee will be the team’s No. 2 and No. 3 pitchers. 

“Right now, our strength is our pitching,” Bergman said. “We can throw a number of guys out there. We don’t have that one guy. We have a bunch who are the same and are reliable.

“I also think our speed is a huge strength.”

TC (1-0) plays again today at Heritage Christian. The Shelby County Tournament is scheduled for May 5 at Southwestern.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.