Slump continues for CHHS

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 10, 2002

Sports Editor

ANDALUSIA – Maybe it’s a good thing Charles Henderson head baseball coach Steve Garrett shaved his head prior to the start of the season.

Because on Saturday, as Garrett watched his Trojans total 10 errors in two losses to host-Andalusia and Thomasville, he was probably searching for some hair to pull.

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"I don’t know if any team I’ve ever coached has committed 10 errors in 10 ball games," Garrett said following the games.

CHHS opened the year 3-0, but Thomasville’s 7-0 win on Saturday ran the Trojans’ losing streak to seven straight. The morning game saw Andalusia take advantage of five CHHS errors in the second and third innings of play to build a three-run lead, eventually winning it 3-1.

As Garrett sees it, there are several problems. First, on a team comprised of mainly tenth graders, those sophomores are…well…playing like sophomores.

"We’ve got some good ball players, but they’re playing scared," he said. "They’re playing like they don’t deserve to be varsity baseball players yet and it’s like they should still be playing on the JV. And they’re playing like a JV baseball team. Today was quite embarrassing. I can accept defeat if I know we’re playing our best, but right now we’re not playing our best."

Second, the Trojans miss the senior leadership from last season’s 19-win squad. Scott Stetson, Jason Barron, Kevin Stephens and Will Jones are gone. Juniors Clint Pugh and Justin Sims are the only returning starters from that team and Garrett says there’s a need for "someone to step up."

"Someone has to step up and be a leader, that’s for sure," he said. "I’ve got a few guys that I wish would step up and be leaders. Right now, we’ve just got a bunch of individuals."

About the only thing Garrett was pleased with on Saturday was the pitching of Sims and sophomore Pete Van Horn. Sims pitched a complete four-hitter against Andalusia and Van Horn gave up four hits to the Tigers with just two earned runs.

The Trojans had five hits in both contests, with Van Horn the highlight batter in the second game against Thomasville. The sophomore went 3-for-3, lining a basehit up the middle in the second inning, following that with a double in the fifth and finishing with a lead-off single in the top of the seventh. CHHS also got back-to-back basehits from Sims and Daniel Porter in the sixth against Thomasville. However, Troy left seven base runners stranded in the game and Tigers’ pitcher Wes Counsel retired seven batters at the plate.

Johnny Roulette had two singles and an RBI to lead the Tigers. Thomasville took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third off of a Roulette hit and single RBI by Rapheal Gutteherez. A grounder by Counsel sent home a runner in the fifth and two errors by the Trojans in the sixth helped Thomasville score three more runs in the sixth.

Against Andalusia, the Trojans tried to rally back from the three-run deficit in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Pugh was hit by a pitch and Sims followed with a ground-rule double. Porter singled in a run, but David Doty was struck out to end the game.

"We had two great practices, up until today," said Garrett. "I guess as long as they keep practicing well and going hard, it’ll come around sooner or later. I have confidence in them. I tell them I go into every game believing we’re going to win the game. I don’t go in scared and thinking we’re going to have a bad day."