WEIRTON - Last season injuries derailed what looked to be a promising year for Bob Rosnick and the Weir baseball team. After starting the season with a 10-run mercy rule victory against rival Oak Glen, five starters were bitten by the injury bug and were lost for the season, resulting in a 10-13 record for the Red Riders.
''Last year was a little bit deceiving,'' Rosnick said. ''We were better then our record indicated. By half the season, a lot of our starters were out with injuries.''
But with the return of 10 lettermen, Rosnick believes good things are in store for his team.
''I feel like would should have a strong season,'' he said. ''We have depth at pitching with a starting rotation of four pitchers. We are experienced in every position with quality subs to back up. If we stay healthy, we'll be a very good team.''
The team is lead by its six seniors, five of who have three years of starting experience under their belts.
Matt Cessna will start at third base, while Josh Russell will use his talents at shortstop. Jeremy Swartzmiller is set to see action on the mound and Ryan Duke will take center field.
Lance Beck will also see some time at catcher behind sophomore Michael Curtis.
''I feel really good about our seniors this year,'' Rosnick pointed out. ''They all have a lot of potential.''
Mitch Viakely is the lone junior starter and will be one of the team's four pitchers.
Sophomore William Larch is also a starting pitcher for the Red Riders.
''Between Larch and Curtis, we have two super sophomores,'' Rosnick said. ''Larch has a lot of potential and is a very good pitcher, but really, he could play anywhere.''
Juniors Chris Russell (outfield), Kamari Washington (outfield) and Cody Knights (utility) round out the upper classmen, while Jake Wypasek (pitcher/infield) and Cole Davidson (catcher/DH) are also on the roster.
''We're looking at everyday as a new day,'' Rosnick said. ''Last year we were just trying to stay in games, but this year we are trying to win games.
''Weir has been struggling with sports all year, so we're hoping to have a good season to maybe jump start Weir athletics into next year.''