Thursday, June 25, 2009
MA baseball players ‘getting valuable experience’
The Marshall Academy baseball team has been busy during the month of June.
The Patriots have played a 20-game schedule with mixed results.
“We have been kind of up and down during the summer,” head coach Johnny Ray said. “That is to be expected when you are trying to get some of the younger ones some playing time in hopes of them moving into a more expanded role next year.”
MA has played, among others, South Panola, Memphis University School, Center Hill, Lewisburg, Independence and White Station.
“This is only going to make us better,” he said. “We have some big holes to fill for next year, and to get the underclassmen some valuable experience against top notch competition during the summer is key to this program getting better. You don’t really concern yourself with wins and losses during the summer. It’s more about development.”
Marshall Academy is scheduled to wrap up its summer slate of games this week.
Affording an opportunity for some of the younger ones to get more playing time is the fact that four upperclassmen are playing for other organizations during the summer. Senior left-handed pitcher Will Patton and junior catcher Josh Vanderburg are playing with the 17-year-old Memphis Tigers and will play against some of the best competition in the Southeast. As a matter of fact, they will play at two universities that participated in this year’s College World Series. They just returned from a weekend at the University of Arkansas and will soon play at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Seniors Parker James and Tyler Childers are participating with the Mississippi Prospects organization, showcasing their skills on college campuses around the state. They have played at such sites as Delta State and Mississippi State as well as several junior colleges in the state.
“I encourage all of our kids to find another team to play on during the summer,” Coach Ray said. “These four will not only be exposed to a higher level of baseball, they will also have several opportunities to play in front of college scouts.”
The Patriots finished the 2009 season with a 21-14 record and recorded their third straight District 1AA championship.
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