Thursday, March 19, 2009
Cardinals start 3-4
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Michael Loden likes the way his Potts Camp players are swinging the bats, but he’s looking for more clutch hits with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals stood 3-4 overall and 2-2 in district play entering its own spring break tournament this week.
“We’ve been hitting the ball pretty well,” Loden said. “The problem in most of the games we’ve lost, especially Hickory Flat and Thrasher, has been runners in scoring position getting stranded. We can’t string three or four hits together. We need to solidify that.”
Potts Camp opened with a 9-5 home win over Wheeler on February 17 and then lost 23-10 to Falkner on February 20. Others scores included – a 5-2 loss to Thrasher, 21-1 and 22-0 victories over Ashland, a 7-5 loss to Hickory Flat and a 14-3 setback at the hands of Myrtle.
Coach Loden said eighth grader Jesse Shaw has been a productive hitter in the number two spot in the batting order.
“We’ve been without our lead-off hitter (Wesley Benson),” he said. “We hope to have him back after spring break, and that should help get our lineup the way we planned.”
He said the three and four batters, Dustin Minor and Wade Russom, have also been hitting well.
Loden has also been pleased overall with the pitching. He said number one starter Cody Watts has done a “really good job.”
In the two-run loss to Hickory Flat, he said Watts “pitched as well as I could ask him to pitch.”
“We got an early lead and they came back,” Loden said. “It was back and forth. It was one of those games where one hit could make a difference, and they got the key hit.”
He said at Myrtle, Watts was pitching well in the first two innings. Then when he was leading off the third inning at the plate, he was nailed in the back by a pitch.
“I had to take him out of the game,” Loden said. “It was a solid lick.”
Watts was relieved by number two pitcher Austin Goode, who Loden said “did a fine job.”
“Into the bottom of the fifth, it was a 4-2 ball game,” he said. “Then Myrtle’s bats woke up. I was very pleased with the way we played them the first five innings. Myrtle is a good team.”
On Tuesday of this week, Potts Camp hosted Ashland, Thrasher and Falkner in the Potts Camp Invitational Tournament. It included six games on March 17.
Next Tuesday, March 24, Potts Camp travels to Coldwater.
“We’re fixing to get busy,” Loden said. “I hope we’ve seen the last of the cold and the rain.”
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