Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Knights' First Team Still Undecided Coach Has Used All of His 17 Players in First Games of the Young Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Knights' First Team Still Undecided Coach Has Used All of His 17 Players in First Games of the Young Season

Article excerpt

The high school baseball season is scarcely a week old, but Francis Howell North coach Bob Dunahue has seen enough.

It's time for a shakeup.

"It's going to be an interesting year," Dunahue said. "In two of the three games we've played, I've used all 17 players - that should tell you something. We're really searching right now."

Dunahue continued: "Some players we were counting on just haven't been doing the job. I can live with physical mistakes, but it's the mental mistakes that have hurt us most. And it's not the younger kids; some of our returning players just don't seem to there mentally.

"If they can't do the job, we'll give somebody else a chance."

Dunahue has been particularly frustrated by his pitching staff, which has been limited by sore arms.

"In eight years, we've never had a problem with sore arms. And now we have five guys who are hurting," the coach said. "We're not doing anything differently, so I have to figure that it's the players. I suspect some of these guys didn't prepare as much as they should've in the preseason, but I want to keep things a positive as possible.

"We need these guys to get healthy if we're going to a winning ballclub."

Senior Gary Baker is the staff ace and has thrown well early this season. But projected junior starters Scott Simpkins and Eric Klohr are hurting.

Other pitchers include seniors Travis Winkler and Jamie Shelton and juniors Mike Gwin, Adam Schmidt and Chad Brantley.

"We normally give each pitcher a role and leave it at that," Dunahue said. "But with all the injuries, our pitching situation is up in the air.

"We need to get some people healthy and our defensive support has to be a lot better than it's been."

The Knights, who finished 9-14 a year ago, are unsettled at most positions. And Dunahue is anxious to find the right combination.

"I want guys who are willing to hustle and give it 100 percent," the coach said. "I don't know, maybe the returning players figured they had it made. But that's not the case at all.

"If I have to start a different lineup every night to find one that works, I'll do it."

Winkler and junior Doug Biermann are battling for the third base spot while Schmidt, senior Scott Patterson, junior Brad Hutchins and junior Kevin Taylor are vying for the middle infield spots. …

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