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Sports

February 28, 2014

Demon baseball has sights on state

DUNCAN — The Duncan baseball team has its sights on getting to state, after seeing its run end at regionals the past two seasons.

“It’s where I believe we belong year in and year out,” said Demon coach Tim Hightower, “and I believe we have the kids to do it.”

The Demons finished 16-17 last year. Hightower, a DHS graduate, said he expects the Demons to improve on that mark.

“It’s been a process over the last few years,” he said. “I’ve been building the program a little and have been with a lot of these kids for three years. With the roster we have this year, we can take a step forward.

“These kids can achieve some goals we haven’t achieved in a while.”

The Demons aren’t lacking in experience, given how many seniors return. Hightower expects a lot from his seven seniors: Tabor Kaspereit, Skylar Rodriguez, Blaine Hillin, Hunter Phillips, John Campbell, Mason Pewitt and Trevor Stone. Rodriguez, Pewitt and Stone will be part of the pitching rotation. Campbel and Hillin are infielders, Kaspereit an outfielder and Phillips a catcher.

There are several juniors who will take on key roles. Hightower said he expects a lot from infielder and catcher Bryce Byford and catcher and pitcher Mason Hightower. Junior Dylan Zawickie mainly plays first base,and could see time on the mound. Fellow junior Scott Cooper is recovering from a foot injury.

Coach Hightowerexpects sophomore Mason Rogers, a junior varsity pitcher last season, to contribute on  varsity. Other sophomores who should contribute are Connor Kinnaird, Collin Klingensmith and Aaron Haley.

“We’ve got a good core of underclassmen,” Hightower said. “Right now, we are just evaluating where the kids are at.”

The Demons have scrimmaged several teams and Hightower likes what he has seen. While there is room for improvement, the coach is pleased with how things are coming together.

Duncan and Marlow will host the Southwestern Oklahoma Invitational April 3-5. The eight-team tournament also includes Mustang, Ardmore, Noble, Washington, Sterling and Fletcher. The tournament returns to Stephens County after several years of being held elsewhere. Hightower is glad the local communities will host it again.

“We’ve got a great field and a great community for baseball,” he said.

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