Baseball season begins this week as the Russellville Panthers and the Logan County Cougars step onto the field. The Cougars began their season last night at Warren East against the Raiders. The Panthers will face the Bowling Green Purples tonight on their home field at 5:00.
Last year the Cougars ended their season 26-11. They had a very successful season including a 13th district championship win, a 4th region championship win over Russell County and made it to the KHSAA state baseball tournament but would fall in extra innings against St. Xavier.
“We had a great season last year and these players know what it takes to be successful. We are missing Dustin Cartas this year and it will be hard to replace him,” said head coach Ethan Meguiar. “We have a young team this year but have four seniors that are leading this team.”
Meguiar says the team is working on their teams goals but that every year they want to be on the plus side of wins. He says they want to win the district and have a chance to compete in the 4th region tournament.
With the rough weather, Meguiar says that the teams hasn’t been outside but he is pleased with the work ethic of the team. The Cougars have been practicing since February to prepare for their season.
“Our scrimmage got canceled this week so I believe that our offense will start out slow since we have no been exposed to live pitching yet,” said Meguiar.
The Cougars have a tough schedule to start off this season. The Cougars will travel to Ohio County tomorrow and then to Muhlenberg County on Monday. The Cougars will play their first home game of the season on Tuesday against Greenwood at 5:00.
The Panthers welcome back head coach Greg Shelton. Last year was Shelton’s first season and the Panthers went 17-16.
“The weather has been a major factor in trying to prepare for the season. We have just not been able to consistently get outside where the game is played. So I think we are short of where we need to be,” said Shelton. “Our goal as always is to get better daily. We want to get better in some aspect of the game everyday.”
Shelton says that the team has several older players who have stepped up their leadership this year. He said he is proud of the seniors and their work ethic.
“We are working on fundamentals and our mental approach to playing the game on a daily basis. The kids have to understand that baseball is a game of failure and that bad things are going to happen,” said Shelton. “What is important is how, as an individual, is how you react to and handle the bad.”
The Panthers play Bowling Green tonight and then will host Cumberland County on Saturday in the 4th Region All “A” Classic.