VANDALIA - And to think they thought with the loss of Adam Cox that catcher
might be their weak link.
Cox was an all-area catcher for Vandalia Butler
High School's baseball team last season. This year, he's playing for Youngstown
State. And Butler's backstop prospects have never looked better.
because of Josh Stewart and Brian Snell, who both alternate at
Through Monday, Stewart was batting .667 (10 of 15), while Snell
was at .500 (5 of 10).
Stewart has the more potent power numbers: three
triples, five RBI and has scored 8 runs. Both have cannons and the word has
obviously spread. No one has attempted to steal on either. "It's a huge blessing
having two catchers like this," Butler coach Trent Dues
said. "They both
do a great job behind the plate. Receiving, blocking and throwing. I think
they're both team players, they're getting their at-bats and they both respect
"I'm just trying to be fair to both of them. We're splitting
time. One guy catches and the next day he'll play another position."
Snell isn't catching, the senior plays third base. Stewart, a junior, plays
center field when he's not behind the plate. Snell is also a closer and has
pitched four scoreless innings.
Stewart had never played the outfield
before this season. He said Dues approached him during tryouts about playing
"We were running and he told me I was pretty fast and we don't
have a center fielder," Stewart said. "It's different. I just take a lot of fly
balls. I feel comfortable."
Snell views the platooning as a
"It's saving my knee," he said. "It helps me stay healthy the
Neither played the position much last season. But during
the summer, Snell went to a tournament in Memphis and got in some reps. Stewart,
meanwhile, batted a team-high .525 for the Troy American Legion
"(Stewart) works hard and he keeps improving," said Brown,
Stewart's Legion coach.
As does Snell. So who's the best? No one's
saying, at least not Snell or Stewart. Neither wants to rock the boat. "We
always throw with each other before the game," Stewart said. "There's no
problems. We're good friends. We like sharing the catcher's spot."
Contact Dave Lance at 225-7492 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright, 2001, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.
Copyright, 2001, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights