Baseball Preview: Pitchers and Catchers

Tyler Fitch awaits a pitch against Chicago

HANOVER, Ind. – With the 2017 season right around the corner, we will take an in depth look at this year’s roster and break it down position-by-position. We start with two positions that will feature plenty of youth this year: pitchers and catchers.

The Panthers’ pitching staff posted a 5.67 team earned run average in 2016 and lost four of its top pitchers to graduation. Those four combined to throw 54.8 percent of the innings last year and will need to be replaced.

This year’s roster will feature 12 pitchers, including nine that are either freshmen or sophomores, and seven that have either thrown less than three innings, or will be making their collegiate debuts in 2017.

Hanover does return sophomore David Herrmann (Fishers, Ind.) after a strong first season. Herrmann saw action both on the mound and in the outfield as a freshman, but made the biggest impact as a pitcher. As a freshman, he went 2-4 with a 4.04 ERA in a team-high 62.1 innings.

Herrmann saved his best for the end. Over his last four starts, the sophomore tossed 28.0 innings and allowed only 22 hits and eight earned runs with 19 strikeouts and a 2.57 ERA.

Sophomore Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) is also back for his sophomore year after earning valuable experience in 2016. The second-year catcher appeared in 30 contests and provided steady defense with only three errors in 185 chances.

While he only hit .212 in 66 at-bats, he did reach base 17 times via a walk or hit-by-pitch for a .369 on-base percentage.

While young players dominate these two positions, there is enough talent for the Panthers to compete in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2017.

Next week we will take a look at Hanover’s infielders.

Contact: Mike Pritchard

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