Pirates baseball season tees off tonight

Zack Balzer

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The Pattonville varsity baseball team opens up its 2014 season on Tuesday, April 1, playing its first game against St. Charles West at the baseball fields at Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex at 6:30 p.m.

With many of the players starting their last season of high school baseball, they look to get rid of their new season jitters tonight.

“It’s weird knowing that I’m starting my last season and that this is going to be my last first game of the season in high school,” senior Ryan Watkins said. “Once we get on the field together, I think it will calm our nerves.”

Senior Carter Hanford opens the season after being named a ‘Player to Watch’ by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the April 1 edition of the newspaper.

“The fact that this is my last season in high school and that this is the last time I’ll be playing with the same group of guys I’ve been playing with for my high school career is overwhelming,” senior Carter Hanford said. “It hasn’t hit me yet that I won’t be playing with these guys after this year.”

Hanford hit .629 last season with two triples, two home runs and 23 RBI in 42 plate appearances.

Last year’s squad finished 18-8 and starts this season ranked as a team ‘On the Bubble’ in the Top 10 Area Rankings.

“I think we’re going to be very competitive this year,” senior Jon Lehmkuhl said. “Our hitting and pitching has gotten better and our team chemistry is improved since most of us have played together before.”

The Pirates’ first pitch against St. Charles West is tonight at 6:30 p.m.

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