Orion baseball - lots to build on

Mindy Carls
Orion High School baseball diamond at Love Park.

Orion’s varsity baseball record for 2021 may have been 9-10 overall, but the Chargers have a lot to build on for the future, first-year coach Thomas Smith said.

“The season started slow, as we were an extremely young team,” he said. “But as the season progressed, we started to hit our stride. We won seven of our last 10 games.

“Our upperclassmen really got us going and our younger guys stepped up,” Smith said.

“We only had one senior, Jarrett Thornburg, in our entire program and he was tremendous on and off the field,” the coach said. “We started two freshmen and three sophomores almost all year, which is going to bode well for us in the upcoming years.”

After 12 months of uncertainties because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith is looking forward to some sense of normality.

“We are really excited to have a full off-season coming up, without the complications of the 2021 COVID schedules,” Smith said. “There is definitely a lot to be excited about in the Orion baseball program.”

Pitcher Quinn Hoftender made the Three Rivers West All-Conference team as a unanimous selection. Listed on the second team were Thornburg, infielder; Cole Kratzberg, pitcher, and Kile Johnson, utility player. Drake Gunn received honorable mention as an outfielder.

Receiving Academic All-Conference awards were Thornburg, Ty Comer, Hoftender, Jared Mohr, Dathan Moore, Chance Stropes, Payton Weaver, Kratzberg and Kaden Edmunds.

Varsity letters were awarded to Thornburg, Comer, Hoftender, Mohr, Moore, Stropes, Payton Weaver, Gabe Masias, Kratzberg, Connor Green, Johnson, Kameron Weaver, Gunn, Blayden Murdock, Edmunds, Kellan Ossian, Derek Dykeman and Joe Faulkner.