Harper brings more experience to baseball season

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Harper baseball has a chance at contending for another playoff spot this season.

The Longhorns return eight varsity players from 2019’s third-place team that went 14-12 before bowing out to Sabinal in bi-district.

“We are very excited about the upcoming 2020 baseball season,” coach Scott Lake said. “We expect to be very competitive this year. We hope to get back in the playoffs again this year. The kids are already working really hard to prepare themselves for a good season.”

Pitcher/outfielder Kelton Marek, a first team performer last season, is Harper’s lone returning senior.

“Yes, the team is light on seniors again this year,” Lake said. “We only have one senior this year in the program. Kelton Marek is going to be a great leader for us. He can put this team on his shoulders and go to work. The lack of seniors does not concern me. Kelton is a good one, and the younger kids are extremely mature and committed to baseball, so they will be fine.”

Juniors Dalton Brown, Ethan Crawford, Newt Eaheart, Colton Porter, Grey Porter and Casen Thompson make up a group of players pressed into action early last season.

Sophomore Braden Strickland earned a lot of playing time as a freshman last season.

Mason is still the district favorite after winning the title last season and advancing to the Region IV-4A semifinals.

Center Point returns seven starters from last season’s 9-1 district runners-up.

Junction, San Saba and Medina make up the rest of the district.

“We are going to need good consistent pitching all year long,” Lake said. “The thing about our district is we are all very similar. Almost every team in our district has most of their kids back. All the teams, except for Mason, were very young last year. I think almost every team is returning at least six or seven starters from last year’s team except Mason. Mason lost a handful of kids from last year’s team, but they have a bunch of good ones coming back and coming up.”