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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Winter Warm-up – Reynolds

Reynolds Raiders
Baseball
Coach (season, record): Bob Foust (5th season, 29-36)
2012 overall record: 6-12
2012 region record (place): 3-7 (fifth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Justin Rhodes, Mark Davis, Michael Custer
Top returning players: Michael Eastlick, Jordan Weaver, Paul Torok, David Koewacich, Tyler Thompson, Kellen Gursky, Neal Engstrom, Jack Mahlon, Collin Yake, Joe Yarzab, Tony Herrmann, Trey Vigus, Nick Fuchs
Assistant coaches: Ryan Foust, Scott Meskel, Matt Williams, Tyler Eicher
Outlook: Reynolds could be a tough team to beat this season. The Raiders only lost Justin Rhodes, Mark Davis and Michael Custer to graduation and have plenty of experience to lean on. Returning are Michael Eastlick, Jordan Weaver, Paul Torok, David Koewacich, Tyler Thompson, Kellen Gursky, Neal Engstrom, Jack Mahlon, Collin Yake, Joe Yarzab, Tony Herrmann, Trey Vigus and Nick Fuchs. Yake was voted to the all-region first team at designated hitter and is one of the up-and-coming hitters in Mercer County. Reynolds could also receive big contributions from new players Adam Ballish and Jacob Reimold. The Raiders have a loaded lineup with experience and plenty of senior leadership with seven returning lettermen in the senior class. The pitching staff went through some rough patches last spring but those growing pains could pay off as valuable experience this season. Reynolds is in a brutal Class AA region where most teams could win on a given day, and the Raiders’ experience in the field and at the plate will be important as the season goes on.

Schedule
April
4 at Wilmington* L, 1-2
5 Commodore Perry* L, 9-10
6 Kennedy Catholic W, 13-3 5 innings
8 at West Middlesex* L, 0-4
10 Sharpsville* PPD
13 at Brookfield (Ohio)
15 at Mercer* 4
17 at Sharon* 4
22 Hickory* 4
24 Wilmington* 4
26 at Rocky Grove 4
29 at Commodore Perry* 4
May
1 West Middlesex* 4
3 at Lakeview 4
6 at Sharpsville* 4
8 Mercer* 4
10 Fort LeBoeuf 4
13 Sharon* 4
15 at Hickory* 4
16 Grove City 4
*Region 2 games

Softball
2012 overall record: 15-6
2012 region record (place): 9-3 (tied for second)
2012 playoff results: Defeated Cochranton 2-1 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals before losing to Sharpsville 8-2 in the semifinals.

Note: A preview was not submitted by the head coach.

Schedule
April
4 Franklin L, 1-2 8 innings
6 Mercer L, 4-14
9 at Sharpsville* L, 3-4
11 Farrell* PPD
12 at Grove City PPD
16 West Middlesex* 4
18 Commodore Perry* 4
19 at Brookfield (Ohio) 4
23 at Kennedy Catholic* 4
25 Sharpsville* 4
30 at Farrell* 4
May
3 Sharon 4
6 at Mercer 4
7 at West Middlesex* 4
9 at Commodore Perry* 4
11 at Jamestown 11 a.m.
14 Kennedy Catholic* 4
16 Rocky Grove 4
17 Slippery Rock 4
*Region 1 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, Softball, Winter Warm-up

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