Despite the fact that the Paris varsity baseball team wasn't hitting on all cylinders when 2017 began, the second half of the regular season was another story all together.

"We had several highlights throughout the season. Beating state runner up Wellsville-Middletown and both games against conference rival Knox County were quality baseball games," said head coach Mike Fible. "The biggest highlight through our season was our last game against Sturgeon. They had beat us bad earlier in the year and we were able too play our best game for last."

While this squad had plenty of reasons to walk off the field with their heads held high, Fible was hoping his team would win more than seven of the 17 games it played this season. On the bright side the Coyotes did have a team batting average of .290 and an on-base percentage of .435 with 69 steals and seven home runs. Paris also had a team earned un average of 4.63 and a fielding percentage of .879 according to www.maxpreps.com.

"Going into the season I expected us to play more consistent, resulting in a better record," Fible said. "We were a team that was able too pitch extremely well and had several players who executed well offensively. This year our biggest struggle was defense. We simply allowed too many extra outs in several ball games."

When it comes to individual performances, junior Brett Miller said plenty without muttering a sound by hitting .556 with 24 RBI, 30 hits, including six doubles and two home runs, and 26 runs. Senior Collin Crook also ended up signing to pitch for Hannibal-LaGrange University and went 3-2 this year with a 3.07 ERA in 10 appearances, seven of which were starts.

"This years team simply did not have as much varsity experience as the previous year. Next years team, it looks like we will be young again," said Fible. "We expect to return three starters and a total of six varsity players, from this years team. Next year has the potential for a lot of new faces in the lineup, and some players are going to be asked to play varsity baseball sooner than I'd like."

Among that returning talent could be junior Zac Rentschler, who had a .271 batting average on 13 hits in 47 at-bats with 20 RBI, nine runs and one steal in two attempts.