Thursday, April 26, 2012
Indians finish third in district; facing S. Pontotoc
By BARRY BURLESON
A young Byhalia High School baseball team used a late-season surge to make the Class 3A playoffs.
The Indians finished third in the district with a 4-4 mark. They entered the postseason with a 4-12 overall record.
Byhalia faced South Pontotoc in the opening round with the games pushed to Monday of this week due to wet weather over the weekend. Game one was actually suspended in the third inning with the Indians trailing 8-2.
“Making the playoffs is a great accomplishment for these kids,” said coach Jermaine Johnson, in his first season at the helm. “They’ve put in long hours, and they worked hard to get over the hump.”
He said his Indians took some lumps early in the season against talented DeSoto County schools and other strong teams.
“We hung in there and those games prepared us for district,” Johnson said.
Four seniors led the Indians into the playoffs – Jalen Applewhite, Cory German, Chris Osborne and Dakota Downs. Applewhite and German were named First Team All-District.
“Those seniors stepped it up to another level,” Coach Johnson said. “They have provided great leadership.”
He said playoff participation is special to the seniors and a valuable experience for the younger players.
“Postseason experience is very valuable to this team,” he said. “Then when we make it back, they won’t be so shell-shocked. We’re still so young.”
Sixteen players will return next season.
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