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Generals Are Ready to 'Play Ball'

The Hamilton-Wenham baseball Generals will need to pick up the slack for departed and injured players in 2011.

The baseball Generals will have a different look this spring, with new uniforms and some fresh faces at several starting positions.

There will be a strong core of returning players, including seniors Jake Prince and Jim Love.

But Generals Head Coach Doug Hoak will need to find replacements for two of last year's biggest stars — league MVP Matt Cook, who is now pitching at Northeastern University, and , who will miss the season after suffering a torn ACL he sufferred during the basketball season.

"It's a huge loss," Hoak said, noting that Hendrickson had been a starter since his freshman year. "It's a big bat out of the line-up."

Last year, the Generals made it through to the second round of the tournament, and Hoak expects his team to qualify again this year.

But this early in the spring, it's hard to determine how strong the team will be, Hoak said.

In a competitive division like the Cape Ann League Middle, the Generals will hope to gel around three key players — Prince, a starting pitcher and first baseman; Love, a four-year starter at catcher; and junior Jared Kefalas, a third-year starter at shortstop.

Love, a leader on the field, said a lot will depend on the younger players who will need to step up into starting roles.

The five returning starters will be "no more important than the remaining four starters, whoever they may be, and our bench players," Love said.

The first pitch of the season is Tuesday, April 12 at North Reading.

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