Oceanside looks to pitching, defense to lift it to postseason
Thomaston — The following is a synopsis of the 2014 Oceanside High School baseball team:
Coach/years coached current team: Don Shields, sixth year (third with Oceanside after three with Georges Valley).
Last year's record/playoff information: 10-7, No. 6 seed in Eastern Class B playoffs. The Mariners were upset by No. 11 Nokomis of Newport 6-3 in a preliminary playoff.
Roster: Seniors J.T. Tobin (catcher), Nick Judge (shortstop, pitcher) and Cole Chase; juniors Ryan Allender (pitcher, outfield, third base), Zac Roman (center field), Zach Peaco (outfield, first base, pitcher), Jimmy Strong (pitcher, second base), Caleb Jacob (pitcher, second base, shortstop), Walker Ranney (catcher, outfield, third base), Travis Frye (outfield), Scott Strong (pitcher, outfield) and Mazlin Higbee (first base); and sophomores Nick Mazurek (pitcher, third base), Thomas Curtis (first base), Riley Sprague (catcher, outfield) and Jacob Bartlett (pitcher, outfield).
Known graduation losses: Drew Townsend, Jordan Carter, Dan Hendricks, Aaron Beal, Matt Zable and Jacob Butman.
Significant impact players: Tobin, Mazurek and Allender.
Team strengths: Pitching, depth and roster flexibility.
Team goal: To be one of the top teams in Eastern Class B.
Top league opponents: Waterville, Winslow, Camden Hills of Rockport, Morse of Bath, Nokomis of Newport, Gardiner, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and Belfast.
Outlook: The Mariners got off to a slow start last season and then got hot late, only to get knocked out of the postseason by the Warriors. And that lesson not to take anything — or any foe — for granted, may pay dividends for Oceanside come June.
“Pitching and defense will be the key for us and I believe we will be a very good [in those areas],” said Shields. “Mazurek and Allender combined to win 10 games [on the mound] last season, and if they pitch as well this season, we should be in good shape.”