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WRHS BASEBALL: Diamond crew ready to tackle 2A opponents

The White River baseball team, having lost its starting lineup to graduation, will have to quickly reshuffle and restructure to prepare for life in the newly-formed South Puget Sound League 2A.

According to longtime Hornet skipper Mike Williams, the show must go on without stars like shortstop Connor Williams (now at Central Washington), second baseman Michael Anastasi (University of North Dakota) and centerfielder Payden Cawley-Lamb, currently gracing the outfield at Gonzaga University.

In addition, pitchers Dustin Stroud moved on to Yakima Valley Community College, Tyson Erickson to Pierce College and Daniel Smith to Central Washington.

"Those guys certainly kept us competitive while they were here, setting the bar high for future players' standards," Williams said.

Good programs simply reload and soldier on though, which is exactly what the winged warriors of White River intend to do.

The solitary remaining member of the fab four pitching staff from last season, senior southpaw Trevor Lubking, is still in the fold. Williams said he appears to be razor sharp and better than ever. When Lubking isn't pitching he will be roaming centerfield.

Preston Dehan will be donning the tools and planted behind the plate for the Hornets, sophomore Cole Johnson will return to cover first base and Brandon Whitmore as well as Zach Howard will split time at second base.

Meanwhile, there will be an interchangeable trio sharing the shortstop chores in Tim Kolisch, Tanner Williams and Zach McMillen. One of those three will eventually assume the third baseman's assignment.

Patrolling the outer reaches will be Lubking in centerfield, senior Caden Pugmire will most likely be chasing down fly balls in left field and a handful of prospective right fielders will be vying for the starting job.

Williams maintains that the pitching picture for the 2011 campaign is still a bit murky, but will probably feature Lubking, a pair of sophomore lefties in Cole Johnson and Ryan Bird and Kolisch, who is a hard throwing right-handed fireballer.

"In addition to all these guys there are a couple of freshman who have a great deal of potential," Williams said. "This will definitely be a rebuilding year for us, but I think we will be competitive in this new league, as there have been some guys patiently waiting in the wings on the junior varsity squad, who are now ready to step out of the shadows and prove themselves."

To comment on this story view it online at www.courierherald.com. Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald.com or 360 825-2555 ext. 5054.

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