With 12 returning players, including two All-Staters, Brookfield Central coach Jeff Bigler sees his Lancers as contenders for the conference crown this season.
Bigler has nine seniors and three juniors back from an 11-7 team which tied for third in the Greater Metro Conference and was 16-11 overall.
Leading the way is Elijah Goodman, a first-team All-State selection, who will pitch and play first base, and shortstop Riley Richarz, an honorable mention All-State selection.
"We have tremendously high expectations," Bigler said. "With Goodman throwing in the high 80s, (Luke) Sommerfeld, who is attending St. Louis University and will play baseball there, and Matt Ausloos, who tossed a no-hitter last year, we have three outstanding pitchers coming back.
"Jonathan Keane will close for us, and he is a good pitcher who did that last season."
Besides Goodman, Richarz, Sommerfeld and Ausloos, other returnees are senior Andrew Schneider, Jake Harley, Aaron Hammond, Matt Liewen and Josh Peltier and juniors Jonathan Keane, Riley Keays and Ben Gerhard.
Matt Hodges and Jared Shipman are also being counted on by Bigler to see some action in the outfield.
Here is a breakdown of the Lancers by position, according to Bigler:
First base will be handled by Goodman and Sommerfeld when they're not pitching, and Schneider, Keays and Hammond have second base covered. The left side of the infield has Richarz at shortstop and Keane at third base.
Ausloos and Liewen will lead the outfielders, as several players will fill in.
Central opens against Whitnall at 5:30 p.m. Friday at home.
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