DIETERICH — With just 11 men on the roster, the Dieterich Movin' Maroons will have to get good starting pitching on a consistent basis to stay in games.
Luckily for them, they return their three top starters from the 2013 spring campaign as their season kicked off today with a trip to Noble.
Dieterich coach Jamie VanSycoc said it'll come down to scoring for senior pitchers Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff and junior Alex Bohnhoff.
"I look for us to be in most games," he said. "Alex and Tanner are going to throw all of our conference games. One of the major areas of concern this year is going to be run support.
"We're more of a contact team, it's going to be a challenge for us to score runs sometimes."
Dieterich also graduated three seniors in Brandon Westjohn, Chris Lidy and Garrett Einhorn. Westjohn and Einhorn had some pop, an area that the Maroons will sorely miss.
In addition to counting on them in the pitching staff, VanSycoc said the Bohnhoffs and Traub will have to pace the offense at the top of the lineup and get on base often for the middle of the order.
VanSycoc is counting on a number of starters to step up into new roles, including juniors Reed Shoemaker and Marshall Mellendorf. He's also expecting a bright spot out of the sophomore class.
"Sophomore Trenton Poe, we're looking for big things out of him offensively," he said of last year's starting catcher.
Cole Hartke is expected to step into the middle of the lineup after finishing the 2013 spring season swinging a hot bat. Clayton Campton will also move into a more regular role on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
"He started a majority of our games last year, depending on who was pitching," VanSycoc said. "We're looking for him to perform this year."
The roster is rounded out by sophomore Thomas Overbeck and incoming freshmen Braxton Overton and Charlie Thoele. The youngsters will have to see time in the lineup for development and due to the small numbers on the fall ball roster.
Still, VanSycoc thinks the conference is going through some overhaul and hopes his Maroons can find their footing.
"We're kind of in the same boat as a lot of the other schools," he said. "Windsor/Stew graduated a lot of kids, St. Anthony graduated (Ben) Hecht, South Central graduated a few senior pitchers."
Dieterich plays its second game against the newly minted Brownstown/St. Elmo Bombers at 4:30 p.m. today in Brownstown.
Seniors: Tanner Traub, Jake Bohnhoff
Juniors: Alex Bohnhoff, Cole Hartke, Marshall Mellendorf, Reid Shoemaker, Clayton Campton
Sophomores: Trenton Poe, Thomas Overbeck
Freshmen: Braxton Overton, Charlie Thoele