Eagles lean heavily on deep pitching staff

Published 10:42 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

With an undefeated 2-0 conference record the Goshen High School baseball team has the potential to make a big postseason splash, but first they have what could be their most of the season ahead of them.

The Eagles (8-7, 2-0) will play four games next week, all of which are region matchups and will decide whether or not they will host the area tournament.

With such a big week ahead of them the Eagles will be turning to their four-man pitching staff, which has put in standout performances this season and provides a good deal of experience and variation.

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“It’s been one of our strong parts this year,” Eagles head coach Robby Kinsaul said. “When you have four pitchers like we do you’ll be successful. We haven’t been walking batters as much which has been good for our guys and have been working hard to not give out free bases.”

The pitching staff is made up of three juniors and a senior, each of whom brings in a distinctive style to the mound.

The senior, Rob Boutwell, is described as more of a power pitcher whose been working on the breaking ball.

Boutwell struck out 8 batters in the Eagles recent game with Luverne without throwing any walks, and will no doubt see action in one of next week’s games.

Next up is Austin Rushing, who has managed double-digit strikeouts on several occasions this season and will most likely make an appearance in Goshen’s game on Tuesday with Highland Home.

“He throws hard and keeps batters off balance,” Kinsaul said. “He’s had double digit strike outs in three of our games this season; he threw 15, 13 and 11.”

Jered Maddox is the lone southpaw on the Goshen pitching rotation, and according to Kinsaul will probably be the lead-off on Monday against Central-Hayneville.

“He doesn’t quite throw as hard as the others but he’s good at placing the ball,” Kinsaul said. “He’s got a good change-up and curveball and was able to strike out 13 guys at Luverne with no walks.”

Rounding out the Eagle pitchers is Russ Thomas, who also makes use of the curveball when he is on the mound.

Thomas doesn’t see as much pitching time as the other three, but serves as a good option for a long relief pitcher and will more than likely play a big role in next week’s games.

The four pitchers combine to make a strong front for the Eagles, and have become big defensive weapons.

“One of our strongest points is our offsetting secondary pitches,” Kinsaul said. “It’s important to keep batters off base. Anyone can hit a fastball but all four of our guys have been working on their secondary pitches and it’s really become a strong point.”