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Burns grows with KSU -8/22/2014, 9:57 AM

Tiger 'D' shines in scrimmage -- offense lacking -8/22/2014, 9:57 AM

Chiefs adjusting to crackdown on physical defensive play -8/22/2014, 9:57 AM

Key to the Royals' playoff push -8/22/2014, 9:56 AM

FHSU men picked second in MIAA -8/21/2014, 10:13 AM

Steelers backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges -8/21/2014, 10:03 AM

Slam downs Royals -8/21/2014, 10:38 AM

Split position for Tiger volleyball -8/21/2014, 10:03 AM

'Mr. Reliable' Frankie Hammond Jr. steps up -8/21/2014, 10:03 AM

Walk-on tryouts for FHSU golf -8/20/2014, 3:32 PM

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Receiver Bowe joins Chiefs' long injury list -8/20/2014, 10:21 AM

Whitehair solidifies the middle for K-State -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Royals streak past Rockies -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

More holiday tournaments for Wichita State -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

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Cornelsen has first day in Hutch -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Black kicks things off at Hays High -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kratz homers twice in Royals' win -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

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Jeff Gordon wins at Michigan -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women draw at Hastings -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Tiger men play to draw in exhibition -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

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Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

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Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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TMP Baseball set to get underway

Published on -4/1/2014, 10:37 AM

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By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

The Thomas More Prep-Marian baseball team lost only one player from last year's squad in ace pitcher Shane Zimmerman and his 1.54 earned run average. While those are big shoes to fill, TMP coach Brian Schumacher believes he has the feet -- or rather the arms -- to do it.

"I feel confident about our pitching staff," Schumacher said. "We got a lot of guys that can throw the ball and do a nice job for us."

TMP opens the 2014 season today at Scott City with a 4 p.m. doubleheader. On the mound for the first two games will be junior Kameron Schmidt and senior Cameron Brin. Schumacher expects Schmidt to take over as the Monarchs' dominant pitcher this season.

Schmidt pitched in eight games last year, going 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA. Brin was 5-1 in eight games with a 3.20 ERA.

"Kameron Schmidt, early in the season last year, before he hurt his hip, was throwing really, really well," Schumacher said. "And right now he is looking good in the bullpen and has been good on some scrimmaging that we got. He's got the potential. It's just a matter of if we can get that out of him."

The Monarchs are looking to get back to the Class 3A state tournament for the first time since 2012. TMP is coming off a 15-7 season in which it lost in regionals to Lakin, 4-2.

It was the worst season since a 7-14 campaign in 2009.

The 2010, 2011 and 2012 teams combined for a 65-11 record with two state runner-up finishes (2010, 2011).

"We expect to get back to state, but we've got a long ways to go yet," Schumacher said.

"I'm just a little skeptical right now and a lot of it is the lack of practice as a unit.

"Defensively we got to have some guys step up at some different positions and be competitive."

The rest of the names in the starting group for TMP will be familiar from year's past. Senior Jordan Gottschalk returns to catch, while the rest of the infield will consist of junior Ryan Schippers (first base), senior Grant Romme (second), junior Braiden Werth (third) and sophomore Ricky Hockett at shortstop.

Brin could also split time at shortstop when not pitching.

The outfield isn't quite as solid heading into today's games.

"As far as outfield, we've had a little bit of an issue as far as trying to have some kids step up for really all three of the positions," Schumacher said.

As of now, senior Taylor Wasinger, junior Liam Stults and sophomore Jared Vitztum will get the nod in the outfield. Schmidt could see time there as well.

Getting on base could be a strong point for the Monarchs this season. TMP returns three players that had a batting average of more than .300 in Gottschalk (.342), Schippers (.386) and Werth (.400).

However, the emphasis will be finishing out those opportunities with runs, something the team struggled with at times last year.

"Hitting wise, I think that will actually be one of our strengths. As a team we hit the ball fairly well, or we have been," Schumacher said. "In the past we've had times where we left a lot of base runners, then we don't finish as far as capitalizing.

"If we just go out and do the things we've been working on, things should take care of themselves for us. But we will have to see. It's early in the season. I'm sure a lot of the other teams have been in the same shoes as we are."

Following today's games with Scott City, TMP will travel to Garden City on April 8 and Ellis on April 15. The Monarchs' home opener is April 17 against Hoisington.

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