A large graduating class in 2019 and a lack of a 2020 season have left the Yankton club high school baseball team with a significant lack of high school experience.
It did not, though, leave the Bucks with a lack of talent.
The Bucks will look to put together another solid campaign as the 2021 season begins today (Wednesday) against Vermillion.
“None of them have played high school varsity, but we were able to do some things last summer,” said Yankton head coach Drew Lawrence. “A lot of them now come onto the field knowing our verbiage, how we run things, how we do things.”
Yankton will rely on a quartet of pitchers, led by Tristan Redman. Joe Gokie, Samuel Kampshoff and Landon Loecker will also log innings this spring. Luellman and Mac Ryken could also see time on the mound.
“Tristan Redman logged a lot of valuable innings last summer,” Lawrence said. “Joe Gokie was also able to pitch a lot for us. Kampshoff and Loecker did a good job at the Junior Legion level.
“My favorite thing about all four of these pitchers is they want to win: win every pitch, win every at-bat. They like to compete.”
Handling that pitching staff will be a pair of catchers, Jace McCorkell and Tony McGlone. Both split time between Junior Legion and Legion last summer.
“The good thing is they both love to catch,” Lawrence said. “It’s a hard position.”
Gokie anchored the Legion team at shortstop last summer, and will see plenty of time there this spring as well. While the infield is not set in stone, a number of talented candidates are working hard to secure their spots in the lineup: Dylan Prouty, Jayden Lightner, Connor Teichroew, Garrett Nelson, Luellman, Jacob Larsen, Drew Ryken and Mac Ryken.
In the outfield for the Bucks, Austin Wagner and Cameron Zahrbock started there this past summer. Kampshoff, Luellman and Jacob Larsen will also see time in the outfield. Larsen could also see time both in the infield and behind the plate.
The Bucks boast a 27-game spring schedule, much of which will be played at Riverside Field at Bob Tereshinski Stadium. Only eight regular season contests are scheduled to be away from the turf in Yankton.
“Part of trying to work a schedule was that we wanted to overdo it, in case of cancellations,” Lawrence said. “These guys have played other sports. They’re ready to play.
“We scheduled a lot of games so that we can do that.”
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2021 Season Schedule
3/31 vs. Vermillion 5 p.m.
4/1 vs. Brookings DH, noon
4/5 at Mitchell DH, 1 p.m.
4/10 vs. Huron DH, noon
4/12 vs. S.F. Washington DH, 5 p.m.
4/16 vs. Brandon Valley DH, 5 p.m.
4/19 vs. S.F. Lincoln DH, 5 p.m.
4/29 at Harrisburg DH, 6 p.m.
5/1 at S.F. Lincoln 1 p.m.
5/1 vs. Pierre at Sioux Falls 3 p.m.
5/3 vs. S.F. Roosevelt DH, 5 p.m.
5/8 vs. R.C. Central DH, 2 p.m.
5/10 vs. O’Gorman DH, 5 p.m.
5/14 vs. Mitchell DH, 6 p.m.
5/15 at S.F. Roosevelt 5 p.m.
5/15 at O’Gorman 7 p.m.
5/22 Class A Region Tourn.
5/29 A State Tourn. (Sioux Falls)