BONNERS FERRY — After winning their very first Idaho 3A State Championship in their 25 year history, the 2019 Badger Baseball team will start out with a new team but with the same dream: another shot at winning the State Championship.
The 2018 team’s 3A title was the first in the North since the 1997 Lakeland Hawks won it while at the 3A classification.
Last year, Coach Tom Turpin graduated 11 seniors and will only have two returning varsity players back on the 2019 varsity roster.
“Surprisingly, with the loss of so many seniors, it was really nice to see the turnout of new players that will again create a varsity and junior varsity squad,” said Turpin.
Returning All-League player Seth Bateman and cousin Ty Bateman will again be solid in their roles, holding down the infield and pitching chores.
Seniors Gabe See and Kenny Branson will come up to the varsity level this year to contribute, and senior Chris Durette should contribute as a first year player for the Badgers.
Rounding out the varsity program will be juniors Ben Tompkins, Quinn Gray, and Manny Nacarrato, as well as sophomore Eric Koehn and freshman Bo Bateman. There will be some junior varsity players getting an opportunity to play at the varsity level if needed.
“I think we have a very good chance at competing for another league title and chance to get back to the State Tournament,” said Turpin. “It will come down to pitching, good defense and timely hitting.”
According to Turpin, Timberlake returns probably the best pitcher in league in Jack McDonald, and both Bonners Ferry and Timberlake will battle for the Intermountain League title.
The first league games are against Timberlake on Friday, April 12, in Spirit Lake and game schedules will be posted on bfbadgers.com.