Irons’ lineup shakeup provides spark for Trojans

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

Less than 24 hours before the biggest game of the season, Charles Henderson head coach Derek Irons decided his team needed a jolt.

Irons shuffled his lineup card around, and moved veteran left fielder Austin Ingram to first base, and slotting Chase Hartley in to Ingram’s normal spot in the corner of the outfield.

The decision came down to wanting to get as many hot bats in the lineup as possible.

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“Hartley has been swinging a hot stick lately, and we just wanted to shake things up a bit,” said Irons. “Austin is just a natural athlete that the switch wasn’t that hard. It worked out for everyone.”

Ingram started almost every game in each of the last two seasons in left field, but is no stranger to playing different positions. However, first base was brand new.

“I have played lots of different positions in my life, but today was my first time ever playing first,” said Ingram. “They hit a couple of hot shots that way, and I am just happy that I was able to stay down on the ball and get the out.”

Ingram plays quarterback on the Charles Henderson football team, but has routinely been called on to fill a variety of positions on the gridiron as well.

Ingram has served as the Trojans punter, and even lined up the slot at receiver from time-to-time.

Irons feels playing football helped Ingram’s transition to the new spot on the “lazy corner.”

“He made the switch without a second thought,” said Irons. “There is no question playing football helped that. He plays QB and punts, and would play some linebacker if you asked him to. He is the same way here. He just wants to win.

Ingram played five innings of error-free baseball in the first game of the day, and turned in a clean performance in the second game as well.

Ingram couldn’t help but smile about his day, especially since he had to use a borrowed mitt to play the game.

“I was using someone else’s mitt,” said Ingram. “And it broke on the first grounder I fielded. I just wanted to help the team any way I can. I don’t care if I have to play with a broken glove or no glove.”