Trinity Christian Addison 2016 Baseball Preview
The Trinity Christian Trojans return 4 starters from a state tournament team a year ago. After finishing 4th in District 1, the Trojans claimed playoff wins over Central Catholic and St. Pius X before falling to Kelly Catholic in the state semifinals.
Manager Don English, who boasts a career record of 581-394-7 with stints at Plano West, Plano East, and Coppell, returns for his fourth season in Addison and believes his team can compete for a championship. English expects the team strengths to be pitching and hitting. The top 3 pitchers for TCA could be one of the top staffs in class 5A. Returning ace Alex Stiegler, a Yale signee and anticipated team captain, earned all-district and 2nd team all-state honors a year ago. Also returning is William Gilbert, a 6’6″ right-hander who should fill the 3rd spot in the pitching rotation.
Sandwiched between the two talented righties is transfer and senior Zach McCutchen. After playing his freshman year at TCA, the southpaw McCutchen played his last two seasons with the home school association. One of the Trojans’ top starters a year ago, Jack Denzer, is now playing at Rochester University. Behind the plate for the Trojans will be senior captain and 4-year starter Jackson Noakes.
Replacing parts of the infield will be crucial for the Trojans. Gone is shortstop Will Whitmire and third baseman J.M. Lauck. Stiegler will fill in at short when not on the mound and junior Brett Bartol is expected at 3rd. Junior Josh Black is expected to start at 2nd base with Gilbert at first when not pitching. Both Black and Bartol played JV at TCA last season. Senior Trace Akin will anchor the outfield along with transfer Caleb Getz.
If the Trojans are to challenge the favorite Prestonwood for district, TCA will have to get the younger guys some experience and have quality starts from the experienced staff.