Gladstone High School has a lot of youth on this year’s varsity baseball team. But that doesn’t mean the Gladiators aren’t going to be successful in baseball in 2014.

With ten underclassmen on their 16-player varsity roster, the Gladiators have gotten off to a 6-2 start on the 2014 season, posting wins over 2013 Class 5A quarterfinalist Corvallis (11-1), Stayton (12-4), Cascade (6-3), Cottage Grove (14-0), North Bend (9-1) and Douglas (10-0).

The Gladiators have been impressive on the bases, stealing 18 of them in their first five games.

The Gladiators committed just one error in their first two games, the 12-4 win over Stayton and the 11-1 trouncing of Corvallis.

Junior left-hander Austin Krieger pitched a complete game against Corvallis, striking out two, walking three and scattering five hits.

Junior right-hander Trask Telesmanich went the distance on the hill in the five-inning game with Cottage Grove, striking out five and walking no one in a one-hitter.

Senior right-hander Cody Swenson pitched a complete game in the five-inning game with Cascade, striking out two and walking two, while allowing just four hits.

Krieger (4 strikeouts, 3 walks) pitched a complete game in the 9-1 contest with North Bend, allowing just four hits and no earned runs.

Swenson (4 strikeouts, no walks) pitched no-hit ball in the five-inning 10-0 shutout of Douglas.

Top sluggers through Gladstone’s first five games were: senior A.J. Swalko (.533, 16-for-30, 5 doubles, 9 runs, 7 RBI), juniors Collin Betnar (.421, 8-for-19) and Ben Fox (.400, 10-for-25), and sophomore Andrew Gross (.393, 11-for-28). Fox had nine RBI and eight runs; Gross had eight RBI and nine runs scored.

One of Gladstone’s two losses was in a close game with 2013 Class 4A state champion Henley.Only two of the Hornets’ runs were earned, and the game was a scoreless tie heading into the fifth inning.

“They’ve got most of their team back and their pitching staff was pretty good,” Webster said of Henley. “Trask (5 strikeouts, no walks) pitched a heck of a game for us. He pitched 6-2/3 innings and was pretty sharp the first five.... We hit the ball, but we hit it right at people, and they made the plays.”

Four players return with starting experience from last year’s Gladstone varsity that finished with an overall record of 11-13 and tied Madras (13-12, 7-8) for third place in the Tri-Valley Conference — Swalko at shortstop, Fox in centerfield, Telesmanich at pitcher and third base, and Krieger at pitcher.

Krieger has also earned the starting nod at first base this season.

Fox received second-team all-star recognition in last year’s TVC all-league balloting.

Among others whom Webster expects to be playing starting roles this spring are: senior Branden Loehr or junior Tyrus Coady at catcher, sophomore Trey DePretto at second base; and Betnar, Foeller, senior Jake Jubb and sophomore Chris Toh in the outfield. Webster said he also expects Swalko, sophomore Devin Neer and freshman Logan Salteras to see relief action on the hill.

Webster sees North Marion as the favorite to repeat as Tri-Valley Conference champion. The Huskies return TVC “player of the year” Kyle Williamson and TVC “pitcher of the year” Brock Breshears.

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