After enjoying a run to the substate tournament in coach Adam Childs’ first season with the Warren County High School baseball team, the Pioneers took a step back as they finished last season 13-17 and were swept out of the District 6-AAA tournament by Coffee County.
With hopes of getting back in the conversation as a state contender in 2014, coach Childs chose his roster last week. The Pioneers will feature 31 players, including bringing back seven players with starting experience from last year’s team.
Six of those starters are part of an eight-player senior class which will lead Warren County. Among those starters are pitcher Ryan Jennings, catcher Lee Carden, second baseman Park Hilliard, third baseman Jon Reed, shortstop Logan Underhill and outfielder Hunter Mullican. Tristan Smith, who gained experience on the mound last season, and Jerrick McKnight round out the senior class.
First baseman Chayse Frye is the seventh player who started the majority of Pioneer games last year and he is one of six juniors on the roster. Pitchers Collin Smedley and Will Sweeton, who teamed to pitch against Tullahoma last year when the Pioneers upset the nationally ranked Wildcats, also return for their junior season.
Outfielder Jett Urtubees, pitcher Merek McColloch and utility player Jordan Tidwell will be looking to make their mark on the varsity team as juniors next season.
The sophomore class is the smallest on the team with only four players. Infielders Dylan Tubb and Will Lupo, outfielder Jake Pennington and catcher Matt Savage are hopeful their quality seasons on the junior varsity team last year will help spring the sophomores to varsity next year.
Warren County will have an influx of youth next year with 13 freshmen joining the fold.
The youngest class on the squad includes nine players who helped the Warren County Middle School win the regular season in the Central Tennessee Conference last year.
Those players are infielders Colby Elkins, Lucas Rogers and Trey Crothers, outfielders Isaac Golden, Ridge Brewer and Peyton Norris, pitchers A.D. Majors and Cameron Shaw and catcher Nicholas Williamson.
Other freshmen include former Boyd Middle School players Micah Woodlee, Noah Fann, Colton Smith and Jamey Jennings.
The WCHS baseball team is participating in a summer league and will begin practice next February.