If the Canton baseball team is going to make a third straight trip to the Class 2 state tournament this season, it'll likely have to without one of the best pitchers in the state.
Senior right-hander Lance Logsdon, the 2017 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, isn't expected to throw off the mound this season. He's still recovering from labrum surgery in August.
"We knew it would be a question if he would pitch, because if you look at the timetable for recovery, it's not something you come back from quick," Canton coach Clint Smith said.
Logsdon has been crucial in helping the Tigers reach the Class 2 state championship game the last two seasons.
He went 6-1 with a 1.12 ERA last spring and struck out 92 in 56 2/3 innings. He also hit .521 with eight homers and 38 RBIs.
He went 11-0 with a 2.26 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings as a sophomore while hitting .528 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs.
He delivered victories in the state semifinals in both seasons to get Canton to a state title game.
"You can't replace an arm like Lance," Smith said. "But with the new pitching regulations, he's good for maybe one start a week anyway. We'll adjust, and this will just make us stronger."
Smith said he expects Drake Serbin, Koy Smith, Brodie Smith and Carson Birck to see their innings increase with Logsdon out.
Logsdon, who committed to play baseball at Quincy University, will be used as a designated hitter and could make a return as a first baseman in the second half of the season.
Palmyra gets chance to play at Busch Stadium
One of the fondest memories Palmyra baseball coach Mark Loman has from his youth was getting a chance to play a game at the old Busch Stadium.
"It was exactly 30 years ago, too," Loman said. "It's something you remember all your life. I couldn't tell you the score or if we won or loss, but I remember the experience and that's what it's about."
So for the last seven years, he's put Palmyra on a waiting list for a chance to play at Busch Stadium. This year, it's finally happening.
Palmyra will play against DeSmet April 21 after the Cardinals' home game against the Cincinnati Reds.
High school teams in the Cardinals' footprint get an opportunity to play at Busch Stadium when they set up an agreement with the organization to buy tickets at a reduced price for the club's home game that day.
Loman said Palmyra had an opportunity a few seasons ago, but a scheduling conflict prevented the game from happening.
"We had to get our ducks in a row to see if we could swing it this year," Loman said.
Loman says the players and coaches will remember the game for the rest of their lives.
"We'll still want to go out and execute, no matter where we're at," he said. "But it's about the experience and having that chance to be on the field where Cardinals heroes have played."
Liberty dedicating new batting cages
Liberty High School has built the school's first outdoor batting cage for the baseball and softball programs.
The school's booster club will have a dedication ceremony after both team's season openers against Payson Seymour on March 19.
The batting cage will be dedicated to Amanda Newman-Krutmeier, who was instrumental in resurrecting the Liberty Booster Club. She also was an avid softball fan. Newman-Krutmeier died in a car accident in August 2014 at the age of 34.
She was an alumnus of Quincy High School, but her husband Donald Krutmeier graduated from the school.