Article published in the Evansville Courier&Press on May 29, 2017 by Pat Hickey, firstname.lastname@example.org
That was his freshman year at Bosse High in 2015. The Bulldogs won just two games that season and repeated that win total while he was an All-Southern Indiana Athletic Conference selection last year as a sophomore.
Bosse, which saw its season end Monday afternoon after a 10-0 loss to Boonville in the Class 3A Sectional 32 semifinal at Braun Stadium, more than doubled its combined two-year win total this spring in finishing 5-26.
While it’s nothing to write home about, it’s a step in the right direction under second-year head coach Craig Shoobridge.
“Shoo’s made a huge difference,” Curtis said. “He gets people to come out and play. There were times my freshman year I was sitting in school nervous we wouldn’t have enough kids show up to play. Now we’ve got 15 or 16 guys coming out ready to compete. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.”
Bosse will have to replace three seniors: catcher Nigel Buchannan, right-fielder Dakota Devine and reserve outfielder/pitcher Saud Al-Nashmi.
That leaves seven starters and 12 players in total expected to return next spring in addition to “eight or nine” incoming freshman, Shoobridge said.
Curtis, a third baseman, will again anchor the line-up. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles Monday to end up fifth in the SIAC with a .407 batting average. He also ranked fourth in slugging percentage (.641) and led the team in earned-run average (3.00), strikeouts (45) and innings pitched (46).
“You’re talking about a kid who’s probably going to go down as one of the better players in Bosse baseball history,” Shoobridge said. “Last year, he was All-SIAC. This year, he’ll probably make it again. I moved him to third base this year to help him get some exposure (to college programs) because he has a good opportunity to do so.”
Sophomore outfielder Ryan Langford and freshman shortstop Eli Burkhart batted .325 and .321, respectively. Slowly recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the fall, Burkhart came on strong late in the year with at least six multi-hit games in the final 10 contests.
So, the cupboard isn’t completely bare. It just comes down to fundamentals.
Bosse gave up seven runs in the second inning to Boonville, but could’ve easily been out of it down 3-0. The Bulldogs committed four errors on the game.
“I’ve got a good 18 years left in me hopefully coaching Bosse baseball,” Shoobridge said. “And when I get done, one of the first chapters in my book is going to be called ‘That one inning’ because it always got us.”
Shoobridge and Curtis said it was rarely due to a lack of effort, though.
“We just had stretches where we couldn’t put everything together,” Curtis said. “We always tried hard. I’m glad we kept giving full effort every time. Even though we had a lot of errors, we had fewer than we did last year.
“We didn’t win as many games as we’d like to but we made progress.”