Seniors hope to carry Eagles baseball team to success

Smyrna pitcher Eric Carrow

SMYRNA — The Smyrna High baseball team lost half of its starting lineup from last season but the Eagles are looking for a large senior group to lead them this year.

Smyrna, which has 12 seniors on its varsity roster, is scheduled to begin its season on Friday at home with a 4:15 p.m. matchup against Polytech.

“We got a lot of knowledge and a lot of veteran minds on the field at one time,” said one of those seniors, first baseman Mikey Carrow. “We should be ahead of the curve. We’ve got the chemistry, all of us have been playing together since we were nine, that’s a good feeling.”

Smyrna pitcher Eric Carrow and head coach Mike Henderson (Delaware State News file photos)

Smyrna is coming off a 10-8 regular season in 2017 that ended with a first-round loss to Hodgson in the state tournament.

Since coach Mike Henderson took over in 2014, the Eagles have reached the postseason each year. But this is the largest senior class Henderson has had a his disposal in his five seasons at the helm.

“I’m hoping that pays dividends,” Henderson said. “We’ve got kids who have plenty of mound time coming back, we’re much better defensively and I think we’re solid up and down the lineup. A couple of young kids have surprised me and will earn some playing time. I think we’ll be alright.”

“It makes our job a little easier,” “he added. They know what to expect. They’ve been playing under me for three years, some of them four years. I’m pretty optimistic. I wouldn’t overlook us.”

The senior class is highlighted by Jeremy Carrow, who has been Smyrna’s staff ace since his freshman year.

“Whenever Jeremy touches the mound you know you can compete with anybody,” Henderson said.

Eagle shortstop Nevin Bell

Mikey Carrow could also see some time on the mound along with seniors Nathen Ridgeway, Nevin Bell, Max Lattomus, Brendan Davis and Logan Strickland. Juniors Andrew Unterreiner, James Barr, sophomore Layne Bell and freshman Mason Drummond provide more pitching depth.

Desond Wilson, Larsen Wilson, Dylan Leager, Caden Naylor and Niklas Diaz round out the large senior class.

“We’re all the same age and gel together,” Jeremy Carrow said. “We have some high expectations. I just want to go out and win game one and take it from there, one game at a time.”

Like most teams in the state, Smyrna has not had much practice time outside because of the rash of poor weather.

The Eagles were able to hold their third and final scrimmage of the preseason on Monday against Brandywine.

“Dealing with these conditions is definitely tough,” Jeremy Carrow said. “The feel of the ball is definitely different. Everything is different, you just got to make sure you take care of your arm is the main thing.”

One thing is for sure, the Eagles will be tested during the regular season.

Smyrna opens the season with six-straight games against Henlopen Conference opposition capped off by back-to-back contests against Cape Henlopen and defending Henlopen North champion Dover. The nonconference portion of the slate features games against Appoquinimink, St. Mark’s, Delaware Military Academy, Newark Charter and Middletown.

The Eagles will play 12 games against teams who made the state tournament in 2017.

“I always think we have one of the hardest schedules throughout the state,” Mikey Carrow said. “We’re not scared of anybody. We’re not going to back down at all.”

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