Excitement on the rise for Bulldogs
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
Belgreen baseball coach Derek Ergle has already noticed a change in the program as his second season with the Bulldogs gets underway.
"One improvement I've already seen is the level of enthusiasm, not just with the players but with the entire school," said Ergle, a 1999 graduate of Russellville High School. "Everybody seems to be excited about getting started."
In order to see that sense of excitement grow, the Bulldogs must improve on the two wins they earned last season.
"We still have a very young team," Ergle said. "We have a slew of 10th-graders. The biggest thing we have to do is improve on the fundamentals of the game."
Several key players are back from last season, including shortstop Justin Gardner, catcher Jesse Edwards, second baseman Marty Britton, pitcher Colby Barnett, first baseman Brent Newell and outfielder Kyle Warren.
Senior outfielder Josh Smith is back on the diamond for the first time since his freshman year, and newcomer Shane Fretwell will play third base and pitch.
Fretwell will also give Belgreen another big bat in the middle of the lineup to go along with Gardner and Jordan Williams.
"Shane is a big addition for us," Ergle said of Fretwell, a transfer student from Russellville. "He's played on a lot of teams that won Little League state championships, and I think he's really going to help us."
Ergle said that Fretwell, Barnett, Gardner and sophomore Alex Graham will handle the bulk of the pitching duties for the Bulldogs.