High School Sports

SJO baseball still putting pieces of the puzzle together

ST. JOSEPH (WCIA) -- St. Joseph-Ogden baseball's early season feels a lot like musical chairs.

"We feel like we have options and so we're trying to find the right mix right now," head coach Josh Haley explained.

Haley has been moving his players around to different positions, looking for the right lineup. Pitching hasn't been the issue, even without Colton Hale and Mason Coon, who are both now at University of Illinois-Springfield.

"It's a combination of offense and defense because we've had quite a few errors," senior Eli Place said.

Blame that on a tough non-conference schedule and an array of new faces. Last year's team made it all the way to the Class 2A state championship before falling to Teutopolis. It was the second year in a row that SJO finished runner-up.

"It's rough coming in second twice but, I mean, there's not a lot of people that go to state at all throughout high school, so being able to do it twice is pretty awesome," senior Austin Cain added.

"We appreciate and we're blessed," Haley said. "We've had opportunities and I hope we're in that position every year to play in the state championship game."

And despite what their record may be, the Spartans say it's only just the beginning.

"I feel like we're ready for any challenge," Place said. "We don't really back down from any opponent."

"We always find a way to figure it out and we'll definitely come around for sure," Cain added.

If they can, they have a shot a winning their 11th regional in the last 13 years.

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