Making the playoffs would make most teams happy, but the Cape baseball squad isn’t “most teams.” And the Vikings won’t be satisfied until they reach the DIAA finals and take home their second state championship trophy.
“All of these players want to win their last game of the year,” said head coach Ben Evick. “The goal is to get in it, and then win it. So when you lose your last game, it gives you a bad taste in your mouth that you need to work harder to get back into that game. These guys have put in a lot of time in the weight room and have brought a lot of the young players into the weight room in the off-season. They have been itching to get back out here and the weather has been nice, so it’s making for a great preseason.”
The Class of 2020 returners are Mason Carrow, Levi Clifton, Rob Baxley, Luke Johnson, Edward Joyce and Sean Clendaniel.
“We also have some sophomores that will be competing for a few spots left from last year’s senior class,” Evick said. “There are some big openings, and those young guys will have to work hard to fill those spots and to start for us.”
On the mound the Vikings have seniors Luke Johnson, Robbie Baxley and Sean Clendaniel leading the way.
“Swinging the big bats will be Baxley, Johnson and Tyler Husbands, who can handle the bat well and can put the ball in play hard,” Evick said. “Hunter Rauch gave us some really big hits last year, and we are expecting big things from him.”
Evick believes that Cape’s toughest competition will come from Dover and Sussex Tech.
“I think Dover is going to definitely be a solid team,” he said. “They have arguably the best pitcher in the state in Dominic Velazquez. They are going to be tough. Actually, everybody in the Northern Division is going to be a battle.”
The Vikings will play at a Sussex Central play day Saturday, March 14. They open the regular season Tuesday, March 24, at Milford. Milford defeated Cape 6-5 April 2, but the Vikings got revenge on the Bucs in the second round of the DIAA Tournament, winning 3-2.