NORTH ADAMS -- Al Marceau knows how important a good start to the high school baseball season is.
The Drury coach watched his team struggle out of the gate last season and the Blue Devils never fully recovered. With an even younger squad this year, a decent start will be important.
"We are young, but there is a lot of talent," Marceau said. "You never know how that talent is going to perform at this level. If you get off to a good start that usually means they'll have a pretty decent year."
Due to two injuries suffered by seniors Alex Busha nd Jake DiLego, Drury could have four sophomores manning the infield positions.
While he doesn't have his starters set just yet, Marceau expects it be a youthful infield. Schuyler Robinson, Jake Tatro and Than Preite are all candidates to start in the infield. Juniors Tyler Briggs, Isiah Clark and Tyler Cote could also see time. Freshman Logan Rumbolt is also in the mix.
"In our infield on any given day, we can have three sophomores and a freshman out there," Marceau said. "We've worked a ton with the infielders with the double-play pivot and the foot work. Just so they aren't out there worrying about the throws.
"Basically, we have a six-day tryout coming up to see who is hitting the best and who looks the best."
Bush and DiLego are both most likely lost for the season due to knee injuries. DiLego suffered his injury during football season. Bush hurt his knee early in the basketball season.
Bush was scheduled to be the team's ace this season, as well as the No. 4 hitter. Marceau had DiLego pegged as the team's designated hitter after he started hitting the ball well towards the end of last season.
"They are two seniors and returning players that got some time last year and really hit the ball well," Marceau said. "And with one being your ace pitcher it's kind of tough. But our young guys seem ready to step up."
The outfield is full of returners this season. Senior Nolan Bird will be in left field, while fellow senior Ryan Ouimet will patrol center. Karreen Beckett will see the majority of innings in right field. He is a sophomore, but played last year.
"It's nice to have an outfield that is returning guys that all started last year," Marceau said. "You don't get to work on the outfield in the gym, I feel comfortable with them. They'll only need a couple days of fly balls and they'll be right back into the swing of things."
The pitching rotation is another question mark heading into the season.
Leading the way will be Kodey Bryce. Tyler Cote, Briggs, Cody Primmer, Isiah Clark and Bird are all expected to see time on the mound.
"We're going to be a staff by committee," Marceau said. "That might keep everybody fresher and keep guys from getting into trouble. Sometimes you see a really good four innings, as coaches you need to start thinking about the next game. Really with the season being so short, you have to get the win when you can get the win."
While he's not 100 percent sure the team has pitchers capable of going the distance, Marceau is excited about the staff's potential. He believes four to five solid innings from a starter will be more beneficial. If the Blue Devils can piece together games from the pitching staff, it should keep everyone's arm healthy and fresh.