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Arrows confident despite injuries, slow start to season

Tecumseh Arrows were looking to start the high school baseball season with momentum. That would offset last season, which ended with losses in six of the Arrows’ last seven games.

Wet and cold weather, though, has slowed down the Arrows – along with every other team around the area. But that’s not the only struggle the team has faced. Injuries have also put a damper on the season’s start.

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Among those working their way back are lone senior Keaton Mohler and juniors Blais Hale and Gavin Wasson. Mohler is expected to miss a couple games early. Hale, who tore his labrum during Week 3 of the football season, serves as the team’s designated hitter until he’s ready to play the field hopefully in mid-April. Wasson, a left-handed speedster, injured his wrist during the football season. He can play outfield but can’t swing the bat yet.

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“We were expecting certain things after last year but we’ve had some setbacks with injuries. It’s just a part of high school sports,” Tecumseh coach Chad Hale said. “We’re working hard and the kids are good kids. We’re still planning on having a good season.”

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Tecumseh finished 12-16 last season and 6-7 in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division (tied for second with Shawnee). The Arrows expect to compete for the Kenton Trail in an already tough division that now includes Jonathan Alder, a Division II regional semifinalist last season.

“We try to play a lot of Division I schools out of league,” Hale said. “We play a really tough schedule in the CBC with Kenton Ridge, Bellefontaine, Shawnee and now you add Jonathan Alder to the mix, it’s very challenging.”

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Pitching is a strength for the Arrows with juniors Will Sowder and Davey Berner. Sowder went 3-3 with a 2.04 earned-run average and struck out 27 in 37.2 innings pitched last season. Berner was 0-2 with a 4.02 ERA and struck out 16 in 15.2 innings.

Offensively, Hale returns as the team’s top hitter with a .321 average.

“He went five months without any activity so I’m not sure what we’re going to get from Blais,” Hale said. “Hopefully he’ll return to his former self. When you can’t lift weights or work out it presents a challenge. We’re hoping his throwing program goes as planned so he’ll be able to play in the field the middle of April.”

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Sowder, a middle infielder and No. 3 hitter, hit .270 last season. Berner, who plays the corner positions, hit .272. Wasson, a speedy outfielder who stole seven bases last season, was a .300 hitter a year ago.

Mohler, an outfielder and catcher, hit .215 and provides leadership as the team’s only senior.

“He’s a great kid, works hard and does what he’s asked to do,” Hale said.

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The roster is dominated by 10 juniors, many who saw key playing time last year.

“We’ve kind of been earmarking this group of kids since they’ve been coming up,” Hale said. “They’re very talented. They play in very strong summer programs. That’s why I still believe we’re going to have a good year despite some of the injuries. I think one of the biggest things with baseball is confidence. These kids, they have confidence. I think they’ll be just fine.”

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