KEY IS 7 RETURNEES
LITTLE RIVER – It was an outstanding 2022 season for the Little River baseball team as they made a run at the Class 2-1A state title only to fall short and finish second.
The 2023 issue of Redskin baseball will be highlighted by seven returnees of whom three earned some sort of KABC (Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches) All-State honors while two have already signed to continue playing baseball in 2024 at the collegiate level.
Terry Renken enters his 14th season as the head coach of the Little River baseball program and holds an overall record of 190-114 that includes a 22-6 record in 2023 with a Salina Regional Championship trophy as well as the runner-up trophy at the Class 2-1A state Tournament.
(2022 Class 2-1A State Runner-up)
“While we did not play in any league the team was fun to coach,” noted Coach Renken. “The team came together and played for each other as we scored big wins at the state tournament over Elkhart and Colony Crest. We finished the season just one play away from winning a state title.”
Once again coach Renken will be assisted by Dean Mantz as they look to fill the shoes left behind of two graduates, Kaden Schafer and Ty Herzog.
Among the players returning for the 2023 season will be Dalton Mantz, a senior catcher/pitcher who finished the 2022 season hitting .430 on 37 hits while scoring 47 runs and knocking across 33. Mantz has already signed to continue his education next fall at Hutchinson Community College where he will also play baseball.
Both Braden Young and Grant Stephens earned 1st-team all KABC honors in 2022 with Logan Renken making all-KABC honorable mention as a pitcher.
(Grant Stephens – Braden Young)
Young, who has signed to continue playing baseball at Central Christian College of McPherson in 2024, will be playing shortstop/third base and pitcher for the Redskins as he earned all-state as a utility player. Young batted .537 in 2022 with 44 hits and 3 home runs.
Grant Stephens, was first-team all-state as an outfielder and will man center field for Little River while also getting some time on the mound pitching. In 2022, Stephens hit .488 with 41 hits and 39 runs batted in.
Logan Renken will be the leader on the mound for the Redskins after being named honorable mention all-state in 2022. When he isn’t pitching, Renken will be found playing either shortstop or second base as he batted .316 in 2022 with 24 hits and 30 runs batted in.
The other three key returnees for the Redskins will be Corbin Herbst in right field, Carter Stansbury in left field, and Spencer Strecker who will play first base when not pitching.
One newcomer to watch will be Kayston Cox, a pitcher/utility player who joins the Redskins after previous playing in Lyons.
Concluding his pre-season thoughts, coach Renken added, “We have seven returnees with experience, six of whom are seniors while they all work hard on playing baseball. We will have a tough schedule, playing all the Heart of America League teams plus Ellsworth. This could be another special team if they come together and play for each other. We have many talented young men who know the game of baseball. Many of the guys have had much success in both football and basketball, and we want to continue it into the baseball season.”
The Redskins will open the 2023 season on the road at Sedgwick on Tuesday, March 28 before making their 2023 home debut on Friday, March 31 hosting Marion.
(The Staff covering events for the MAC AREA SPORTS NEW can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
DON’T FORGET TO ORDER YOUR BOOK OF LITTLE RIVER FOOTBALL MEMORIES as they made a run at the 2022 State Title……..all the games, all the stories, all the stats!!!