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Brashear Tigers Set For Tri-County Title Run
By David Sharp
The Brashear Tigers return eight full or part time starters from their fourth place Tri-County Conference baseball team of a year ago. Kale Watson and Jacob Shipman are three year starters and come back for their senior baseball campaigns.
Tyler Killen was the lone 2007 graduating senior from the Tiger baseball program. Junior Koty Hayden is competing to replace Killen at first base. The Tigers will have a new head baseball coach for the 2007-08 season.
Kirksville High School graduate Heath Schneider takes over from Danny Martin who retired from teaching at the close of the 2007 academic year. Coach Schneider taught at Brunswick the last two years after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University.
“I’m coming in with a great group of kids,” said Heath Schneider. “I’ve got nine upperclassmen. I hope for a great season.” Brashear should have one of the area’s deepest pitching staffs.
Jacob Shipman and sophomore lefty Matt Thomas have achieved all conference status. Kale Watson and Michael McKim have varsity pitching experience. Kale Watson is a returning all conference shortstop and junior Michael McKim is a solid outfielder.
“I even have some relief pitchers that I want to get innings, especially in the fall season,” said Schneider. “The (St. Louis) Cardinals are my team. I have read Whitey (Herzog’s) book. I like to run and make people throw us out. I still have to get used to the Brashear fence.”
Second baseman Kiley Watson returns for his junior year. Eight of the 15 players out for Tiger baseball are juniors. Justin Hazen will likely do the catching. Jacob Shipman will play third base when not on the mound. Ryan Ferdig, Trae Treasure, Michael McKim, Daniel Smith and Brandon Gordon all played varsity baseball last season.
Richard Coy is the remaining junior. Adam Songer, Cody Snelling, and Jay Scudder join the Tigers as incoming freshmen baseball players.
The Tri-County Conference determines their baseball champion in fall baseball play. Atlanta and LaPlata were the top two conference teams last season. Injuries and graduation have depleted both squads. Novinger also graduated several good baseball players. All three teams should put good baseball teams on the field in 2007-08.
Green City and Bevier have solid baseball programs. The Tigers and Lady Tigers open their 2007 conference seasons at Linn County on Friday, August 24.
“I definitely think we have a shot at (winning) conference,” said Schneider. “They are ahead of where they were at this time last season. They need to learn that if they make an error, not to make another error on the next play thinking about it. These guys have great discipline. I think we are ready to go at Linn County.”