Jets baseball entering 2023 season with a lot of youth


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — The Franklin Monroe High School baseball team will be fielding a younger roster this season. After graduating seven seniors, they will be down to three seniors with a lot of freshmen and sophomores making up the rest of the roster.

Head coach Tyler Zimmerman said there is still some experience left on the roster outside of the seniors. Like they will this season, they played some of their younger players last season.

”Luckily, we had quite a few freshmen that had to play for us last year to get a little bit of experience under their belts. Our sophomore class has a little experience, but we’re definitely going to be very young,” Zimmerman said.

The Jets were 10-12 last season with a 4-6 conference record.

There will be some position changes for some of the players. Players like sophomore Ty Riffle, who started for the Jets last season in the outfield, will be the team’s catcher this season. Sophomore Chase Stebbins is set to expand from his utility role and play the middle infield while hitting in the two spot in the lineup. Sophomore Brady Wackler will move to center field after they had a senior play their last season.

Sophomores Josh Armstrong and Hudson Fasnact will return to the mound after pitching a couple of games for the Jets last season. Armstrong finished with an ERA of 1.986 and Fasnact finished with an ERA of 4.295.

The seniors on the team will have a big role this season. Senior Cade Peters will return to the mound after finishing last season as an All-WOAC First Team award winner. He pitched in ten games last season and had 51 strikeouts and a 1.33 ERA. Zimmerman said he expects Peters to have another huge year for them.

Senior Cason Yount started to play shortstop for the team towards the end of the season. He will now have the position to himself this season and be the leadoff hitter for this team. Zimmerman said Yount has waited for his time to be in this position and now will have his shot at it.

Both of these seniors already have a bunch of experience at the varsity level. Zimmerman said both have started to settle into their roles as seniors.

“They both have seen a lot of innings since their sophomore year. It’s been great to have those two, with such a young team, embrace the leadership role. They’ve been very helpful to the coaches getting the young guys ready,” Zimmerman said.

They also return senior Gavin Tucker, who was a role player and a pitch runner for them.

With spots open, players are competing for playing time. Zimmerman and his staff have noticed the hard work the players have put in during practices to earn those spots.

Every player has shown a desire to improve and contribute right away.

“The overall attitude of all the guys have been great. It has been a real joy for coach and I to come in everyday and the guys are working hard,” Zimmerman said. “They want to get better and that’s nice to coach. We see them wanting to get better and embracing the opportunity they have with those innings available.”

The Jets will focus on getting the best out of their pitchers and defense to win games. Zimmerman said they hope to keep games low scoring as they don’t have a lot of power in the lineup.

The pitching staff impressed Zimmerman during the offseason. He said the sophomore pitchers have been strong on the mound in practice and during their scrimmages. They will also have their ace in Peters back to rely on as well.

It will be a learning experience for most of the roster this season. The team and Zimmerman are excited to get past the scrimmages and practices and get right into the games.

“We’re excited to get out there on the field and see what these young guys got. It’s been great watching them work and develop. But until we’re out there playing games, we won’t really know exactly what they’re ready for,” Zimmerman said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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