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Hopewell Junior High Baseball

Coach Nick Hoth Previews The 2024 Hopewell Junior High Baseball Team

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Coach Nick Hoth and his Hopewell Junior High Baseball team will host South Side tomorrow afternoon in their 2024 Season Opener. 

This team has been training with Coach Morgan Singletary’s high school team since January preparing for the season and Coach Hoth likes what he’s seen.

“I’m really impressed with the players already,” said Hoth. “For some of these players, they have been in the gym since January practicing along with the JV and Varsity players in the optional workout. Some were playing winter sports and came to baseball right after. This team wants to compete and win.”

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“The biggest key with any team is cohesiveness. They need to understand that they aren’t going to be perfect and same with their teammates. Mistakes and errors will happen. It’s how they bounce back and show resiliency and how they pick their teammates up. There are nine players out there and they all play an important part. The players are just getting started in their high school baseball career. Junior High ball is the first looks that the high school staff will see them. How they act and respond to certain situations is crucial.”

Coach Hoth is very excited for this season to start and tells me that he’s been planning since the end of last season. Like with the high school team, a strength with the junior high team appears to be the number of pitchers that Hopewell has on their roster.

“I’m very excited with the group of pitchers this year, as I feel we have more depth between the two grades,” said Hoth. “We have a few different options depending on what teams we see. I have a mix of lefties and righties, players throwing above 65 and others right on the cusp. For the most part, we’re preaching control and command. It’s nice to throw 80 but it doesn’t matter if they aren’t strikes.”

In terms of Hopewell’s offense, Hoth believes they’ll be able to manufacture and put a lot of pressure on the opposing defense.

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“This isn’t a slow group. Once we get on base, we are going to be aggressive and make it hard for pitchers and catchers to contain us. For the last few months, we have added speed and endurance sections to our practices, and it’s paying off.”

With speed, it helps players steal bases, get to the balls in the outfield, and beat out throws to first base. It puts pressure on the opposing team and can lead to more scoring opportunities. With endurance, it allows players to maintain their performance throughout the game, both defensively and offensively. It helps them stay focused, make accurate throws, and have consistent swings at the plate.

Coach Hoth has had a lot of experience with the Hopewell Baseball program that he is happy to be a part of.

“For me, I have been coaching youth baseball for years and have known kids on Varsity and down since T-ball,” said Hoth. “I know what these kids are capable of and I am here to get them to the next level and compete on the varsity team and to win WPIALS and States. Hopewell baseball has one of the best pipelines of athletes thanks to the coaches from youth and up. I’m just just happy to be a part of it.”

First pitch tomorrow against South Side will be at 4 PM.

Other teams that Hopewell will take on this season include New Castle, Northgate, Ambridge, Beaver, West Allegheny, Montour, Central Valley, Beaver Falls and Laurel. 

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