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Baseball: Kingsmen ready for redemption

Kingsmen Baseball hungry for success

Penn Baseball Head Coach Greg Dikos is entering another high school season with the goal of winning a fifth state championship. Penn’s last state title was in 2015. For the Kingsmen, who have been upset in the early rounds of their state runs in the 2018, and 2019 seasons, as well as having their 2020 season cut due to COVID-19, the theme of their season is redemption. Before last season was cancelled, the Kingsmen were ranked No. 1 in the preseason rankings for 4-A high schools in Indiana.
The Kingsmen, ranked No. 19 in this season’s pre-season state rankings, are coming into this season hungry. Practices are no longer started with a slow jog around the field, they are started with a sprint.  No longer is anything taken for granted, nothing is given, and everything is earned.
The Kingsmen enter this season with a solid starting rotation headlined by Juniors Ben Gregory and Hunter Mrozinski.  Ben Gregory is a lean 6-foot-3 right-hander with a fastball peaking at 88 mph.  He also has a solid repertoire that includes a hard fastball, a deceptive change-up, and a quick breaking slider.  Hunter Mrozinski is a barrel-chested 5-11 left-hander with a fastball sitting in the low-to-mid 80s.  Alongside this fastball, he adds in an 11-5 curveball and a change-up.  Seniors Ryan Plummer and Josh Slabaugh, who was 9-0 with a .353 ERA on JV in 2019, also will have a strong impact on the rotation. They bring the senior leadership that this team will rely on.
The Kingsmen also will enter this year with a strong lineup led by a mix of Juniors and Seniors. Juniors Zac David, who had a .542 average on JV in 2019, and Zach Hoskins, who hit .556 on JV in 2019, are entering this year with high expectations. They bring the gap-to-gap power that the Kingsmen need.  Seniors Nate Kelly, who hit .427 on JV in 2019, and Zack Messer are going to bring the senior leadership, as well as power into the lineup.
The Kingsmen defense is also strong this year, with a fundamentally sound infield, and a fast, athletic outfield.  The mix of speed and athleticism will allow the Kingsmen defense to get to every ball, making the pitcher’s lives much easier. 
The Kingsmen have a tough schedule this year, with games against Crown Point (DH) on April 17, Lake Central (DH) on April 24, South Bend Adams on April 26, Andrean on April 30, and rival South Bend St. Joseph on May 10.
This Penn Baseball season will be filled with questions, but one thing is for sure, nothing will be taken for granted.  The senior leaders will have to step up, and the junior newcomers will have to prove themselves, but no matter what, this season will be a redemption tour for the Kingsmen.

All Team Rosters

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