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DailyTidings.com
  • PREP BASEBALL

    Great expectations

    Ashland aims to plug holes on defense in order to put together postseason run
  • Last year's roller coaster ride through the regular season and subsequent postseason flameout does not appear to have shaken the confidence of the Ashland High baseball team.
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  • Last year's roller coaster ride through the regular season and subsequent postseason flameout does not appear to have shaken the confidence of the Ashland High baseball team.
    The good news is, the Grizzlies have a few good reasons to be optimistic. Their top two batters from a year ago — junior infielder/pitcher Steen Fredrickson and senior center fielder/pitcher Bryce Rogan — are back, along with a pair of top-end starting pitchers, Carter Glick and Fredrickson.
    If the defense can hold its own — and second-year head coach John Wallace believes it will — Ashland should field a team capable of doing some damage when the Class 5A state playoffs begin in late May.
    "We're out to prove that," said Fredrickson, who led the team in batting average (.395) and RBIs (21) last season. "We're out to prove that we're going to be that dominant power. I think we can go deep."
    Ashland opens its 2014 campaign Tuesday in Arizona, where it will play three games before returning home for a doubleheader April 5 against Phoenix.
    Last season the Grizzlies were an enigma, nearly flawless in wins over 6A powers North Medford and Crater and their own worst enemy in ugly losses to Dallas and South Medford. They opened the season with four straight losses, won eight of their next nine then put together another six-game winning streak before stumbling in the first round of the state tournament, losing 4-1 to Madison.
    Ashland's fatal flaw proved to be its defense, which committed 52 errors in 26 games, including three in the playoff loss.
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