Hornets open against Federal Way Friday

Enumclaw High baseball mentor Eric Fiedler is living what would normally be considered a coach’s dream right now, with 75 hopefuls arriving for the first day of baseball tryouts. For Fiedler’s money, though, it has been more like a screaming nightmare.

“I’ve been coaching baseball for a long time and this is the hardest time I’ve ever had paring down to arrive at the final varsity roster,” he said. “Our junior varsity team is jam packed, our C team is full of kids and we are going to have the luxury of carrying the maximum number on our varsity traveling squad.”

That means the coaching staff had the undesirable task of notifying 20 to 25 eager ballplayers they didn’t make the cut.

“I hated doing that,” Fiedler said, adding that one could make a heck of a select team with the unfortunate fellows who didn’t make the Hornet program this year.

Fiedler hasn’t penciled in many kids as starters, but predicts that this year’s team could be one of the most athletic he has coached.

One player that seems to be a virtual shoe-in is senior southpaw pitcher Andrew Olsen.

“Although I haven’t finished working out a rotation quite yet, we are going to have better pitching this year,” Fiedler said. “Olsen is our workhorse and is one of a handful of premiere pitchers in the South Puget Sound League 3A.”

Again this year there won’t be many breathers on the Hornet slate, especially with the SPSL 3A newcomers in Lakes, Peninsula and Clover Park. He’s also watching out for the other Hornets from White River. “Buckley’s bunch are going to sneak up on a lot of teams. They are going to be very athletic and talented this year,” Fiedler offered.

This year’s miserable baseball weather reminds fans of a season ago, when make-up games stacked up so high that the Hornets were forced to play an inordinate number of double-headers. One week the Hornets played seven games in a row.

Commenting on this year’s rain and snow, Fiedler simply stated, “The weather couldn’t possibly be worse for baseball than it was last season. It just about drove all of the coaches insane.”

Weather permitting, the Hornet’s initial contest will be a home game against the 4A Federal Way High contingent at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald.com or 360-802-8207.