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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Bears working hard to improve on last season in baseball


Last updated 2/27/2024 at 10:16am

Coach Hunter Hagler of the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears baseball team

The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears were young in 2023 and just missed making the playoffs. With another year under their belts the Bears are prepared to make a run at the post season this campaign.

The opportunity to make the playoffs last year for LCM came down to the last week of district action as the Bears needed to sweep their two games with the Silsbee Tigers. That did not happen so Little Cypress Mauriceville stayed home when the post season began.

Bears' Coach Hunter Hagler recapped last season. "I think last year we left a lot of things on the table. We will hopefully learn from last year. We had some Bears that got to play, and we were excited for them. We are working to get better every day," Hagler evaluated.

Because Little Cypress Mauriceville was young last season there is a large group of Bears with experience for this year. Coach Hagler is counting on returning lettermen to lead the team in 2024.

Parker Seago returns at shortstop and on the mound for the Bears. Seago batted in the leadoff position last season, but may be moved to the middle of the batting order.

A key batter that is back is Marco Bandiero who was the offensive most valuable player for the Bears. Bandiero plays first base.

Justin McCarver returns as the Bears' catcher. Parker Freeman was primarily the designated hitter for LCM, but will see time at the corner infield positions as well this season.

Landon Richards will play at third base when he is not on the mound pitching. Hagler commented, "Landon was one of our starters last year throughout district. He's a guy we're looking kind of to lean on a little bit on the mound this year."

Other starters back from last year are Clay Raney and Ethan Fry. "We're returning a lot of Bears, and what's nice is when you have guys that you start to see that youth like we had start to mature which is exciting," Hagler observed.

There will be a few Bears moving on to the Little Cypress Mauriceville varsity this season. Brice Frenzel pitched a little in the scrimmages and tournaments last year. Hagler indicated, "We're hoping Brice can pitch a lot for us this year. He's playing a little bit of right field as well and hitting in the middle of the batting order."

Freshman Jacob Scheiderer has already seen a number of innings in left field during the early Bear scrimmages, and had an impressive pitching debut. "Jacob got two or three innings the other night. He came in to shut down a bases loaded jam and pitched two and two third innings with eight strikeouts in his first pitching outing as a freshman," Hagler reminded. Scheiderer had two hits in that same game.

Hitting has traditionally been an asset for Little Cypress Mauriceville. With the number of returning lettermen the Bears should have some big bats in their lineup again this season.

Hagler analyzed, "Right now I think up and down we are right there. Early in the season the hitters kind of miss a barrel here or miss a barrel there which in two or three weeks that same guy is going to square up and you know it from just seeing him do it before."

The coach identified the expected leaders with the bat for the Bears. "Bandiero is definitely a guy that can swing it. Seago is another guy that is going to swing it really well, always has and always will. Freeman is a big body who can lose one every now and the too, and he's going to find barrels. McCarver has been hitting in the two hole through the scrimmages into the early games, and he's basically doing whatever you need the two hole to do whether it's bunt to help move runners, drive guys in, see a lot of pitches, and different stuff like that. Justin is doing a really good job at doing it," Hagler praised.

"I think once you find some continuity and guys start realizing what their role is you can start to see a little bit of that flow in a lineup. We really started to see that in the game last night which is really exciting," Hagler added.

In that game the Bears put eleven runs on the board. LCM had runners in scoring position throughout the game and only left one runner on base.

The pitching staff for Little Cypress Mauriceville has more than half a dozen good arms that Hagler can put on the mound. Hagler elaborated, "Honestly, right now there are six Bears I can think of that I wouldn't be afraid to throw out there at any point and time. There are two more guys who in a jam could potentially go out there too when we're deeper in tournaments."

Landon Richards tops the list of Bear pitchers. "I think he's going to be a guy who really shocks a lot of people this year building off what he did last year. Landon gained that experience and then figured out who he really is on the mound which is really exciting," Hagler explained.

Marco Bandiero was not able to pitch last year because of some arm trouble after being a regular on the mound the year before. Hagler is excited to see Marco get back on the hill this season as he can throw it with the best of the Bear pitchers.

Another Bear who will get innings in any situation is Parker Seago. Brice Frenzel and Parker Freeman will also play bigger roles for the LCM pitching staff this season. Not to be overlooked is freshman Jacob Scheiderer who every outing has just built on what he has done previously.

Hagler reiterated, "Six guys that we really aren't scared to throw at anybody at any point and time in a game. We're excited about the staff where they are, how they developed, and we're looking forward to the season."

Coach Hagler is not going to look too far down the road for the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears. He insisted on taking this year one day at a time, but does feel the team is moving in the right direction which has him excited about the new season.

"I think anybody that throws out any prediction this early in a season might look back later and hoped they didn't. We're just taking it one day at a time trying to get better every single day, learning who we are, continuing to grow, continuing to mature, and then just learning what to expect out of each other every single day on a daily basis," Hagler concluded.


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