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April 11, 2013

Wildcats feature sophomore-dominant team

Milford returns six starters and 10 key players from last year’s strong team, but that doesn’t mean coach Andrew Griffiths knows exactly what he has to work with for this year’s squad.

“There’s still so much up in the air,” Griffiths said despite the Wildcats’ win Tuesday at Morris to start the season. “(As of Monday), we’d had one practice on the field, and just two or three other practices outside. I just don’t know what I’m looking at yet.

“We have great depth,” he continued. “To an extent that is a curse and a blessing. I have a lot of guys that can play a lot of places well. But I still have to figure out where to put everybody that is best for the team.”

Griffiths’ son, sophomore Peyton Griffiths will play a big part on the team after a big freshman season. Griffiths is the leading contender to be the No. 1 pitcher on the team and will also get looks at catcher and shortstop. Last season, he often started in center field when not pitching.

“Peyton is looking like the No. 1 right now, but we will see,” Griffiths said. “I have five or six guys that can pitch, but I am not sure yet if we have that one or two guys who can go out there and win by shutting down other teams.”

Sophomore Paul VanWarner, who also had success pitching as a freshman, will likely not pitch this season because of shoulder problems.

“I’ve been suggesting, and his family has been suggesting, that he take a year off from pitching,” Griffiths said. “He’s only a sophomore and we don’t want him to do lasting damage to his arm. Some things are more important than baseball.”

Griffiths said that VanWarner will play shortstop this season or perhaps DH and play first base if his arm can’t handle the throws from the right side of the infield.

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