Baseball: North looking to improve on 9-6 conference mark with depth, speed

The North High School Polars baseball team - under the direction of newly hired head coach Ron Adams - is looking to make a difference in the Classic Suburban Conference (CSC) this season.

Adams stated, "We should be OK. We have good pitching depth returning. We have many returning seniors, all of whom have (playing) experience.

"And in the returnees, we have some speed. We expect to increase our stolen bases this season."

Coach Adams foresees some possible weaknesses that the players will need to work on in the early going.

" We will have a new left side on our infield. That, along with our hitting, is unknown, and we will have to work hard to shore up our defense."

Helping Adams to accomplish those tasks will be assistant coaches Brad Adams, Andy Persby and Craig Pluff.

The Polars have yet to pick captains for their 2012 edition but the many seniors who are expected to anchor the team include (in alphabetical order, along with possible positions): Trever Buttermore, pitcher (P)/infielder (IF); Jake Dawson (P/IF); Johnny Economy (P/IF); Brandon Finberg (P); Jim Karal, catcher; Jake Larson, outfielder (OF); Ryan Nicolai (OF); Brady Soular (OF); and Jeramiah Wylie (P/IF).

While Adams may be a newcomer to the North High program, he is far from being unfamiliar with local baseball.

For over 20 years, Adams, a North grad, has coached and managed the North St. Paul Post 39 baseball team.

He looked around the Classic Suburban Conference and picked Hill-Murray, St. Thomas Academy and Tartan as teams to beat if North is going to finish on top of the standings come June.

The North 2012 baseball schedule (games are scheduled 4:15 p.m. starts unless otherwise indicated): April 3, White Bear Lake at North; April 6, Como Park at North; April 9, Henry Sibley at North; April 11, North at Richfield; April 13, St. Thomas at North; April 16, North at Simley; April 20, Mahtomedi at North; April 23, North at Tartan; April 25, Hill-Murray at North; April 27, North at South St. Paul; April 30, North at Henry Sibley; May 1, 5 p.m., River Falls at North; May 2, 7 p.m., Richfield at North; May 4, North at St. Thomas; May 7, 7 p.m., Simley at North; May 10, St. Paul Academy at North; May 11, North at Mahtomedi; May 14, Tartan at North; May 16, North at Hill-Murray; and May 18, 7 p.m., South St. Paul at North.