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Fry expecting bigger things from Airedale baseball team 3/1/23

Fry expecting bigger things from Airedale baseball team 

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Bigger, stronger, faster. 


That’s the scenario Alma baseball coach Brian Fry is hoping to see play out as the Airedales prepare for the 2023 baseball season. 


The Airedales will have only a handful of games before starting 5A-West play on March 14 against the Harrison Goblins. 


Fry and Co. return five senior starters, including last season’s No. 2 pitcher, Noah Likens. 


The other senior starters include outfielders Jackson Wright and Axl Spain, shortstop Derek Hatcher, and first baseman Nathan Machen. 


Senior Caden Nesbitt is also for another tour. “We’ve been leaning on them a lot for their leadership,” Fry said.


“Noah was our No. 2 guy last year and he’s trying to take the No. 1 role this year,” Fry said. “That’s one thing we’ve seen this year is our pitching stepping up.”


The Airedales have struggled during the last four seasons, finishing the last two seasons with just 11 combined victories. 


Along with Likens and Nesbitt, the Airedales return sophomore hurlers Camden Curd, Cash Wilson, Brayden Driscoll, and Piercen Howell. Driscoll will also see action in the infield. 


Sophomore Sheppard Osborn will handle the bulk of the catching chores. 


“We’re a lot stronger, but our focus on the mound is to just give us a chance,” Fry said. “Offensively, we’re stronger and better. We have some power and some speed, but on the mound, we have to replace a guy like Logan Taylor who is going to give you a chance every game.”


Curd may play third base or some outfield for the Airedales. Brogan and Hatcher will anchor the middle infield at second and shortstop, respectively. Machen replaces Taylor at first and may split time with freshman standout Easton Daily. 


“I don’t think there’s a park in the state that can hold Easton Daily,” Fry said. “Watching his presence at the plate, watching him swing a bat, that’s what he’s meant to do.”


Fry is also high on Logan English, who can play infield or outfield. If the conference season started today, Fry said, English would be his right fielder. 


“The way he approaches the game, his positive attitude, and his energy, he’s just a really smart player,” Fry said. “He’ll contribute as well.”


“Watching them play catch, even from the summer, all of their arms are stronger,” Fry said. “The weights have really been beneficial for all of them. We’ve got Branson and Camden back in basketball, and Branson will pitch a lot more this year than he has. We can move some guys around this year and not sacrifice defensively. We have some utility guys that can fill in some holes.”


“We have to take advantage of what we can and play some good competition,” Hatcher said. “We’ve got to learn from it and get better for conference.”