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Century baseball eyeballing a Metro League title

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The Jaguars return eight starters from last year's state playoff team

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Century's Kyle Chimienti throws a pitch during a game last season. The Jaguars have hopes of competing for a Metro League title in 2017.The Century Jaguars baseball team has high hopes entering this year's season, and while last year's squad won a play-in game before an eventual loss to Sheldon in the state playoffs, head coach Mason Wright's experienced team has raised the bar prior to this year's Metro League slate.

"Certainly, a league title is on our radar," said Wright. "Last year we set a goal of finishing in the top-four in our league and making the playoffs. This year the guys really feel like a league title is within our grasp."

The Jags return eight starters from last year's team, including standout Kolby Somers, who's headed to Eugene to play baseball for the Ducks next year and will be playing primarily first base.

"We've got some strong senior leadership in a lot of key postions, including Kolby who'll play mostly at first base and do a little pitching," Wright said. "We've got pretty good pitching depth and are solid defensively."

Somers will be joined by outfielder and pitcher Kyle Chimienti, Brandon Gordon who was an all-league designated hitter last season, and second baseman Josh Grant who received honorable mention all-league honors a year ago. In addition to the aforementioned, Wright expects solid contributions from sophomore Micky Thompson, and junior Michael LoBue who'll be the team's number two starter.

Other youngsters worthy of action include shortstop and pitcher Jared Gordon, as well as third baseman and outfielder Justyn Herzog who "deserve to be in the conversation as everyday players," said Wright.

Wright believes Jesuit, Westview, and Beaverton will be amongst the teams to beat in the Metro League this season, but also feels his team is definitely in that group.

"We're one of those teams people are talking about to be in the mix," he said. "And rightfully so."

Century was scheduled to start their season Tuesday, March 14 versus David Douglas at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, followed by a home game the following night versus St. Helens, before traveling to Wilson Tuesday, March 21.