Photo courtesy of Mark Wilmes/Tyler Tribute Pictured above is the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton baseball team. Front row (L to R): Cody Wichmann, Blake Christianson, Connor Kremin, Corbyn Sitzmann, Isaac Dagel. Back row (L to R): Head coach Josh Fredrickson, Jack Christianson, Sam Nibbe, Hayden Gravley, Drew Werkman, Brayden Appel and Aiden Wichmann.

TYLER – With the cancellation of the 2020 prep season, there has been an adjustment early this season as teams get back on the field after a year off.

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton baseball coach Josh Fredrickson is hopeful that the learning curve won’t be as severe because many of his players were able to play last summer.

“Luckily we were able to get some baseball in last year with Legion, so it won’t be quite as bad as it could have been,” he said. “That being said, we need to knock to the rust off a bit and polish up the little things that got neglected last season.”

The Knights had a very young varsity roster in 2019, so the young will have a core group of returning players who will help the transition into the new season.

“Cody Wichmann, Hayden Gravley and Aiden Wichmann all had big seasons two years ago as 8th graders,” Fredrickson noted.

In total, the Knights have five players returning from the 2019 squad, including two seniors.

Fredrickson hopes a strength of his team will be offense.

“We have a lot of guys who should be able to put the ball in play, so hitting should be (a strength),” he said.

Fredrickson added that he wants to see a deeper pitching rotation.

“I’d like to develop some more depth at pitcher this season,” he said. “We also have some pitchers who should do some good things for us, but not a lot of depth there.”

After not having a 2020 season, Fredrickson is using the early portion of the season to fine-tune the skills of his players.

“Mainly getting back into the groove of things,” he said. “Working on little things, polishing up swings, and building some depth by getting guys playing in different positions.”

Fredrickson is excited to get the season underway and to watch how well is team performs.

“Just seeing the guys have the opportunity to play some ball again,” he said. “I expect that our guys will compete in each game this year.”


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