A year later, it’s a different story.
“We graduated four really good arms last year, so we are working hard this year to find some quality starters and some mid-relievers and some closers,” Robinson said. “Our emphasis this spring has been on pitching, and coach Mike Roga has done an outstanding job of getting our guys in shape.”
Robinson said the cold weather has made it challenging to his pitchers to log innings. Etowah played a few scrimmages, but its rotation is still developing. Some of the pitchers moved up from the junior varsity program, while others were position players last year.
Ty Cohen, a senior, it the team’s only proven returning pitcher. He was named an all-Region 5AAAAAA honorable mention as a reliever last year, but he will be Etowah’s No. 1 starter this season.
Senior Brent Jones is returning from Tommy John surgery, while another senior, Nick DeSantis, is back in the lineup after missing last season with an injury as well.
Junior Taylor Lobus is moving up from the junior varsity team, while senior Noah Karst will get a chance to pitch after waiting his turn last season.
“One thing I can say is that we are pleased with the effort everyone is giving,” Robinson said. “It’s just a matter of getting some innings.”
Most of Etowah’s position players have returned, along with a few junior varsity players added to the mix.
Returners include Caleb Shelton, Will Campbell, H.D. Dillard, J.T. Thomas and Destin Porche.
“We are expecting to swing the bat well this year,” Robinson said. “I think we are ready to compete.”
Etowah is 2-0 on the season with wins over Grayson and Sequoyah. It will host Huntsville (Ala.) for a pair of games today before facing River Ridge on Tuesday.