2015 Team Preview: Emporia



By Sean McCann
Prep Baseball Report Kansas

As we prepare for the upcoming 2015 high school season, we will be taking a preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: Emporia
Nickname: Spartans
Class: 5A
League: Centennial
Head Coach: Shawn Wilson
Years as Head Coach at School: 2nd year
2014 Overall Record: 5-17
2014 League Record: 4-14
2014 Post-Season Finish: Regional runner-up

Returning Starters: 5
Pitchers with 15+ Innings Returning: 1

TOP RETURNERS
Jeff Bonitatibus, RHP/2B, 2015 – All-Centennial League
Brian Aranda, LHP, 2016
Bryce Baumwart, UT, 2015
Brady Baumgardner, C/OF, 2015
Derek Summey, OF/RHP, 2015

X-FACTOR
Jeff Bonitatibus. The right-hander picked up wins against Centennial League foes Hayden, Seaman as well as a 1st round regional win versus Mill Valley.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Frank Yackovich, IF/RHP, 2016.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Austin Gordon, OF/LHP, 2014. Led the team in hits, batting average and RBI while logging significant innings on the mound for the Spartans. Named All-Centennial League.

2015 OUTLOOK:  
The Spartans return six seniors from a team that defeated three ranked opponents in 2014. On the mound senior RHP/2B Jeff Bonitatibus looks to hold down the No. 1 spot in the rotation with junior LHP Brian Aranda likely to emerge as the No. 2 with senior RHP Connor Moore a key reliever/3rd starter. Clean-up hitter senior 3B Cody Swanson is likely to be lost for the season due to football injury this fall. Seniors Bryce Baumwart (can play any position defensively), OF/RHP Derek Summey and third year starting catcher Brady Baumgardner also return. Emporia will look to a strong junior class and some promising underclassmen to compete for open spots in the line-up and on the mound.

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