Returning players chasing winning season for Rebels baseball team

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2016 Season Preview

By Brian Blair

The Owen County Rebels return to the baseball diamond next week.

The team begins the 2016 season on Tuesday when they travel to Carrollton to take on the Panthers. The Rebels finished 11-15 overall last season and were 6-4 against teams from the 31st District. They were 0-2 against Carroll County.

Owen County returns several talented players from a season ago most of whom remain underclassmen. The team does return four seniors in Joey Cox, Jacob Harris, Trevor Smith and Michael Stewart. Cox will bring experience on the mound as well as first base while Harris will pitch and play the outfield. Smith will patrol the outfield and play some at first with Stewart catching and playing some at third base.

The Rebels are also returning six juniors in Austin Fitzgerald, Johnny Holland, Patrick Osborne, Josh Spaulding, Nolan Tackett and Jordan Willhoite. Each gives head coach Shane Tirey, who begins his fourth season, options at several positions all over the field.

Owen County will enter the season looking to get back to the Eighth Region Tournament in May. Last year, Owen County lost to Henry County in the 31st District semifinals to end a run of three straight trips to the Eighth Region Tournament. Collins will begin the year as the defending Eighth Region champions.

For the Rebels to be successful they will need to find a way to score runs on a more consistent basis this season. Last year, the team played 10 games where they scored three runs or less, losing all of them. They were shutout five times. On the flip side, the Rebels were 11-0 in games where they held opponents to three runs or less. For the season, Owen County was outscored 134-130.

As always, the Rebels will play in the Eighth Region All “A” Classic in April. They will also take part in two more tournaments during the season. The first will be the Webster Orthodontics Danville Invitational on March 25 and March 26. They will face the defending State Champions, West Jessamine, in their first game on the 25. They will also play in the Madisonville Invitational Tournament from April 5 to April 7.