Raiders focused on 2016 season

Arguably, the 2015 Navarre baseball season was the most successful in school history. It included the program’s first 20- win season, the first district title since 2002 and a regional semifinal appearance.

While all of those accomplishments are impressive, second-year head coach Scott Murphy has moved on from the successes of 2015.

“We aren’t talking about last year,” Murphy said. “We are focused on 2016.”

While Murphy may not openly admit it, he has every reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season. Twelve full- or part-time starters return from the squad that finished 20-7 in 2015.

Leadoff hitter Michael Sandle (.412), a shortstop and University of South Alabama-commit, leads a group of five with season batting averages over .300.

Cyrus Grimes (.322, OF/P), Dusty Rogers (.318, C), Matt Cronin (.305, P/1B), and Tyler Rebber (.302, LF/P) round out that group. Octavien Moyer (.296, 3B/P) and Conner Lovell (.295, C) came close to the .300 mark.

The entire starting pitching rotation returns for 2016 and only one reliever was lost to graduation.

The returning pitchers sport an ERA of 1.341 and are led by University of Arkansas-commit Matt Cronin.

Cronin (.408) pitched in 12 games last year, striking out 143 batters and giving just four-earned runs all year.

Read more in the Feb. 4 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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