April 04, 2002 11:00 pm

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

IMBLER Black uniforms on the first warm day of spring didnt please too many of the Imbler High School baseball players Thursday.

But with team pictures being taken that afternoon, the uniforms had to stay on, leaving some of the players wishing for rain.

Its supposed to rain during baseball season, sophomore Travis Hoskins said.

This may be Imblers first year of baseball in decades, so forgive the Panthers if they arent sure what the season is supposed to be like. Theyve already had one rainout; their season opener against Joseph was postponed until later this month.

Barring foul weather, the Panthers start their season Saturday at noon against Union at Optimist Field in La Grandes Pioneer Park.

A successful Babe Ruth season in 2001 convinced the players and coaches that Imbler could field a high school team. The school board gave its blessing, but couldnt provide any money. Co-coaches Grant Crow and Monty McIntosh have drummed up a long list of supporters.

Nine of the 12 players were on that Babe Ruth team.

Most of them are real young, McIntosh said. The juniors and senior havent played for a couple of years.

There are only two juniors and one senior, Eric Johnson.

I like it. I just couldnt play Babe Ruth anymore, Johnson said.

The juniors are Zach Myers and Bryan Davidson. All three upperclassmen are outfielders, and Johnson will also pitch while Myers will catch.

Imbler does have a variety of players who can pitch, a wealth at any level. Sophomores Daniel Johnson, Hoskins, Trevor Crow and Chris Miller have all pitched in the past, as have freshmen Jeff Smith and Tanner McIntosh.

All will play somewhere else, too. Daniel Johnson is also a third baseman, while Hoskins doubles at first base, Crow at shortstop and Miller at second. Smith is also a catcher, with McIntosh sharing those duties as well as time at short.

Outfielders include sophomore Justin Volle and freshman Alan ODonald.