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DHS baseball: Diamonds in the rough

by Chuck Smock

A new era of Douglas High baseball dawned early this week when first-year head coach Fred Bendure settled on a 16-player varsity roster for the 2000 season.

Bendure, assistant coach Ron Cauley and pitching coach Richard Kraeger have six seniors returning from last year’s varsity and a total of eight players with varsity experience.

“We have some good senior leadership and we have some talented young players,” Bendure said, “It’s going to be a rebuilding year, but we’re going to work hard on the fundamentals and the mental aspect of baseball.

“With a young, inexperienced team, you just hope for the best. You try to get good enough to surprise some people.”

Senior right-handed pitcher Jared Silveira, who already has signed to play at Sonoma State, is the early favorite to be the Tigers’ starter on opening day, Bendure said.

Douglas will get leadership, on and off the field, from seniors Kyle Wentz, Rich French, Bobby Lee, Trevor Crawford and Chris Murray, all of whom were on the varsity last season.

Sophomore Shane Cauley also returns for his second season of varsity baseball.

Juniors Rick Cagle, Matt Duffie, Ryan Haltom, Jordan Ovard and Adam Sheldon all have made the jump up from last year’s junior varsity squad.

Freshman Austin Graham and seniors Matt Murphy and Joey O’Brien round out the Tigers’ active varsity roster.

Junior Johnny Mannelly, also a returning varsity player, is on injured reserved with a knee injury. Bendure said Mannelly could miss the first three weeks of the season.

Douglas will travel to Reno High on Saturday for a doubleheader scrimmage against the Reno Huskies and the Reed Raiders.

Five days after their first live action of the year, the Tigers will open the 2000 season with a road game at Carson on March 9.