GARDNER- The PikeView Panther baseball team is looking forward to following up last season's record breaking camping when they hit the diamond this season. Last year the Panthers had a lot of success as they won a school record 25 games, won their division in the Mingo Bay Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC, and brought home another section championship.

This season the Panthers hope to take the next step and advance through the regionals and in to the state tournament. Following last season's defeat in the regional championship, PikeView Head Coach Josh Wyatt said “we have to get stronger and that starts with dedication to the weight room.”

This was something that was a primary focus during the offseason. “With our returning starters and progress of underclassmen, we have high expectations” said Wyatt. “Season goals are bringing back championships, the boys have put in a tremendous amount of hard work in the off season as we had to get stronger. They committed themselves to the Death By Crossfit facility and look to take that next step this year.”

Coach Wyatt feels confident in his coaching staff heading into the season. “I have followed my father's advice and surrounded myself with very knowledgeable and loyal coaches of position training.”

PikeView will have a lot of firepower returning back for them this season. “Austin Cordell is a senior that had huge offensive numbers for us last year. Levi Nash and Jacob Harmon each pitched 45 or more innings last year. Carter Shrewsbury, Keian Lee, Jon Clark and Ben Boggess will look to follow up on very productive sophomore numbers from last year.”

With all of these key players returning, PikeView will enter the season with high expectations and hope to get off to a good start. “Our start will be determined by how hungry the boys are, they will dictate what type of fighting mentality the team will have this year. In years past we have been the type of fighter that has to get hit a few times before we start. I have challenged this team to set the tone early and be aggressive from the get go.”

Last season the Panthers had gotten off to a slow start before they caught fire on a trip to Myrtle Beach in the Mingo Bay Classic. PikeView will make that trip again this season. “The beach is an awesome experience and team building week. Not only do we get to play some great competition but we get a week away from the norm and we learn to trust our teammates and that leads to them being comfortable and confident in one another.

PikeView will open up their season this Friday at 5:30 p.m. at home with a varsity double header against Fayetteville and on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against Liberty.

— Contact Jordan Ellison at ellisonj27@gmail.com

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