Q/A with baseball coach Jeremy Crouch


Alyeska Zamora/Rider Media

Rider baseball coach Jeremy Crouch is expecting a strong season in 2020

After a one-year hiatus from the playoffs, Rider baseball bounced back in 2019 with a young squad. Many key players are returning in 2020, leading to high expectations.

The Rider Chronicle sat down with head coach Jeremy Crouch to discuss the upcoming season, returning standouts and a few new faces ready to make an impact this spring.

Q: What are your expectations going into this season?

A: Our expectations are to try to get better every time we play. And, ultimately, be as competitive as we can be in every game and make it to the playoffs. Make a run at a state championship too.

Q: Will you be doing anything different from last season?

A: No, not really. We’re going to stay the course, we have confidence in our practice plan or what we’ve done for years here at Rider for years, even before I was here. We do a lot of the same things. We believe in it. And now, we just have to play better when it matters, that’s kind of the biggest thing for us.

Q: Do you think your team dynamic will be different without some of last year’s players?

A: I think so, I hope our team chemistry is better. You can’t be successful throughout a season without guys that get along and respect each other on the field. So I hope it’s better. We’ve talked about it, worked on it a little bit. It can only help us.

Q: Who are some players that have been the keys to your success?

A: Well, we’ve returned most of our pitching from last year. Maverick Folmar, he’s been a starter for us for two years as a pitcher. So, we expect him to have a good season this year. Ranse Radtke was an all-district pitcher last year, so he’ll be back and we have some other guys that we’re looking forward to competing and giving us some more arms. Nathan Porter, Max Turner, etc.

Q: Who are some up-and-coming players to look out for?

A: Well, we have three or four sophomores that played on the varsity as freshmen. So they’re a year experienced and they’re going to have a chance to do better than they did last year. We have some other guys, Reese Frantom, Phoenix Wilburn and some other sophomores that will get a chance to play at the varsity level. Then we have some new guys like Jed Castles and Jacob Rodriguez who haven’t played in a while, but they’re competitors so we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do.

Q: Who are your key returning players?

A: Other than the ones I just mentioned… let me think. Brennen Campbell is a returning second baseman for us. He’s worked really hard this summer and through the year, he’s done a good job as our second baseman so we hope he has a good year. And there’s some others, Garrett Saunders and some other guys that are looking forward to competing for more playing time.

Q: Have your expectations changed for the team this year?

A: Well yeah, we hope they’re better after playing on varsity as a freshman. First of all, playing on varsity is tough at the 5A level, it really is. So we asked them to do a lot last year that they may not have been ready for. Now, they have that year of experience so you hope that they’re going to be better and more competitive.