The varsity Mules will have to replace three key players from the 2017 team. Colin Ewaka and Mike Worthington are now playing for Cecil College, meeting Solanco alum Joe Murray a Seahawk sophomore outfielder. Josh Kreider has also moved on through graduation.
“They were sophomores last year and making the first team is a very significant accomplishment,” wrote Fish. Fetterman and Kreider join two-time letter winners, outfielder Trent Myers, outfielder Joel McGuire, and pitcher Haydn Fox.
Another key player returning is John Murray, a second team all-star. Murray, a catcher and second baseman, is a junior.
Other returning varsity players include Gabe Horn, Hunter Shaw, Zach Fritz, Sam Buckwalter, and Corey Stively. “These are quality players,” added Fish, who at the end of last season, said the Mules were the best defensive team he has coached in the seven years he’s been at Solanco.
Fish, who led Solanco to a 2016 league championship and possess a 73-73 career record, said all the schools will be challenging to capture the title this season. In addition to Solanco and E-town, Lampeter-Strasburg, Ephrata, Donegal and Conestoga Valley make up the Section II card.
Fish reported that it’s much too early to project a starting lineup, but that he was encouraged by the team’s winter workouts and is very excited about what is in store for the team this upcoming season.
“We had such a young team last year, and at times struggled, especially in close games,” noted Fish.
“We really look to take a big step forward this season with a lot of the same faces as a year ago with a few new guys in the mix.”
Dethroning Lancaster Catholic, last year’s league champion, is one of the Mule goals after they secure the Section championship.
The head coach has Roger Smith and Jeff Miller assisting him this season. John Girvin will coach the JV team, assisted by Ron Miller.
Solanco’s baseball program struggled last season, ending with a 4-14 overall (3-13 Section) record, but 11 of those losses came at the expense of four runs or less. The last two losses of the season were to Conestoga Valley and Ephrata, both by 3-2 scores.
Section II is always competitive and this year will be no different, but the Mules are determined to be at or near the top at season’s end.