Patriots look to continue winning ways in ‘10

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots varsity baseball team will be looking to pick up where it left off a season ago.

Last season, the Patriots finished with a 26-13 overall record including a trip to the AISA semi final in the state tournament.

This season, PLAS is expecting the same kind of success.

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“I think we will be alright this year,” head coach Butch Austin said from the Patriots’ practice Tuesday afternoon.

“Not going to say how many games we could win this season, or how far we go in the tournament – but I think we will do alright.”

The Patriots only lost three seniors from a season ago and will be stoked with five for the upcoming season, which Austin believes will pay dividends for his ball club.

“We will have a lot of good leadership this season. That kind of stuff is going to help us during practice with the younger kids and in close ball games during the season,” the coach said.

Some of the players the coach talked about where seniors Will Starling, Justin McLaughlin, Ross Hixon, Blake Thomas and junior Sam Carroll.

Austin continued by saying he thinks his team will be well off on both sides of the ball.

“We will be able to hit and pitch pretty well,” he said.

“You got to be able to pitch and play defense and I believe we have the kids that will be able to do that.”

There is three spots on the team that Austin said need to be filled, two left field, center field and the catcher position – however, he believes by the beginning of the season everything should be taken care of.

“You always worry about the first part of the season, making sure you have the best team on the field and seeing if you left anything out,” the coach said.

“We have a talented group of guys here. I think we have young guys on the team will step up for us.”

The Patriots will kick off its season on Saturday, Feb. 27 on the road against Dixie Academy.