Thursday, March 22, 2012
Indians in ‘building process’
By BARRY BURLESON
The Byhalia High School baseball team is still seeking its first win with district play starting this week.
“We’re struggling offensively and defensively,” said Jermaine Johnson, in his first season as head coach. “We’re in a building process. There are a lot of things we need to work on, and we have to keep working.”
The Indians dropped their first game of the season, 9-7, to county rival Potts Camp and then lost its next five games by wider margins.
He said the Indians, as a team, are hitting just .145, and they’ve committed 20 to 30 errors in the field.
“That tells the tale of our season thus far,” he said.
“We need to get the bats going and improve our fielding.”
On the other hand, he said the pitching has been “superb.”
“Our ERA (earned run average) is low,” Johnson said.
The Byhalia roster includes five seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and the rest ninth grade and below.
Coach Johnson is playing a junior varsity schedule with seventh and eighth graders and he wants to develop a program even at the elementary level.
“We need to work with these kids and keep them together six or seven years,” he said.
Johnson was an assistant last year under longtime Byhalia head coach Bubba Brown. This is his first head-coaching job at the high school level.
He is originally from Greenville and played two years of college baseball for Mississippi Valley State University.
Johnson hopes his Indians can get on track when Charleston comes to town Friday for a Region 3-3A contest. An earlier scheduled district contest versus M.S. Palmer was rained out.
“Hopefully we can put it all together in district play and make a push to the playoffs,” he said.
The Indians then play non-district foe Center Hill on the road Saturday at 2 p.m. before swinging back into district play at Winona next Tuesday, March 27, at 4 p.m.
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