This year is the 34th and final high school baseball season for soon-to-be retiring Van-Far head coach Wes Rowden.
His Indians, with a solid mix of experienced players, are hoping to send the coach off into retirement with a memorable year.
“I think this is one of the better teams we’ve had in quite a while,” Rowden said. “We have a lot more depth.”
Returning to this year’s program is all-state outfielder Josh Hodde (CF/P).
Others with varsity experience include Cameron Barsé (OF/C), Brayden McMillen (Util./P), Cody James (OF/C), Jason Lansche (OF/C), Paul Schambach (IF), Riley Culwell (IF/P), Treyson Culwell (P/1B/3B), Logan Wilson (P/SS), and Caden Wilburn (OF/P).
Last year’s Indians won four games and also won the Community R-VI Tournament.
In spite of new pitching rules that force pitchers throwing 75+ pitches to rest four days, Rowden may be one of the area coaches who are in an okay position to handle the change.
His squad features at least five pitchers.
“It is an advantage but for some of the schools, it will be a disadvantage, obviously,” Rowden said.
Rowden said his pitchers have been throwing the ball harder this year in practice. His goal is for them to be consistently throwing strikes.
Defensively, Rowden knows it’s important to cut down on errors.
The defense is highlighted by a fast outfield anchored by Hodde in centerfield.
“I don’t think there is a better outfielder in the conference,” Rowden said about Hodde.
Offensively, Rowden hopes his team hits the ball better.
Wilson is returning after hitting better than .300 as a freshman.
“I hope offensively we are more consistent up and down the lineup and not make easy outs,” Rowden said. “We have guys out there that are tough outs. That’s what we want to accomplish and be a little more patient this year.”