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Baseball Eagles trying to reload, not rebuild

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CHS shooting for sixth straight district crown

By Bobby Brockman

 

Kirby Smith may not have toed the rubber while playing at Campbellsville University, but the Campbellsville High School head coach knows where games are won and lost the most.
“Pitching will be the key to our success and being able to win our sixth straight district title,” Smith offered recently. “We have more pitchers this year than we have had in previous years, but our rotation is mainly freshman and sophomores with Chris Sexton being the lone senior. If we continue to improve on the hill, I think by the time May rolls around we will have a shot at another title.”
Smith admits winning five straight district titles and six of the last seven (Jim Ward’s Eagles won the title in 2006) should help.
“I believe when you have players with post-season experience with success it is an advantage,” Smith continued. “The old saying ‘success breeds success’ is so true.
“Right now our biggest strength is that our team is very coachable and possibly one of the hardest working teams that I have had,” Smith said. I believe they understand what it takes to win a sixth straight title.
“We embrace the success we have had in the past, but we realize this season is the only one that counts right now.
“Our goal every year is to be playing our best baseball when it counts the most — the post-season,” Smith acknowledged about his young squad. “We do not get caught up in how many wins we have during the regular season due to the strength of our schedule.
“It is more important to us that we improve throughout the season. I believe the key to our success will be how much we will improve from now until May 20 — when the real season begins. Of course in order to win another district title we must do two things really well — pitch and play solid defense.”
Smith said his seniors always hold the key.
“I always look to my seniors for leadership,” Smith said. “They have been a part of all our recent championships and understand what it takes.
“But. leadership doesn’t always have to be in the form of a senior. In 2008 when we won the district, freshman Taylor Levi led the way on the hill by beating Taylor County 8-6. Then in 2009 we called upon another freshman, Brett Kearney, to close out the championship in a 15-11 slugfest. I expect all players to be leaders regardless of what grade they are in.”
Smith looks at the district and region races by saying:
“I think our district will be very competitive. Whichever two teams make it to the region will have definitely earned their way in.
“Central Hardin is by far the best team in the region once again this year. But, I believe any team in our district could be in the top 4-5.
Freshman Chase Thomas is scheduled to start on the hill vs. Caverna tomorrow. Another freshman, Austin Hash, is slated to start against Greenwood  Friday and then again the following Friday against Central Hardin. Sophomore J.T. Holmes will start game three.
Julian Pierce and Chris Sexton round out the rotation while Josh Roe, Cameron Hughes, Zach Durham and Tony Barrera will see time on the hill.
The tentative batting order vs. Caverna will be; Chris Sexton, RF; Caleb Gupton, 1B; Julian Pierce, CF, Stealth Townley, C; Bradley Bates, LF; Chase Thomas, P; Austin Hash, 3B; J.T. Holmes, SS; Zach Durham, 2B.
Last thought: Smith thinks the local success can be attributed to the strong local youth program.
“I believe our Little League program has done a tremendous job of getting kids ready to play baseball,” Smith admitted. “Since 1990, it has been either Campbellsville or Taylor County winning the district title and that alone says a lot for both of our local teams and the Little League program.”

CHS Eagles’ baseball schedule
March 12    at Caverna
March 15    Greenwood
March 16    Spencer County
March 19    Hart County
March 21    Thomas Nelson
March 22    Central Hardin
March 25    Bardstown
March 26    at Metcalfe County
March 27    at Russell County
March 28    Nelson County
March 31-April 5    Florida trip
April 9    Adair County
April 11    at Taylor County
April 12    at North Hardin
April 13    Wayne County
April 16    Marion County
April 18    at Adair County
April 19    North Bullitt @E-town
April 20    LaRue County @E-town
April 20    at Elizabethtown
April 22    Washington County
April 23    Taylor County
April 25    at Marion County
April 26    at John Hardin
April 29    at Green County
May 2    Caverna
May 3    Metcalfe County
May 4    at Anderson County
May 6    Southwestern
May 7    at Cumberland County
May 9    Bullitt Central
May 11    LaRue County
May 13    Green County
May 14    Cumberland County
May 16    at Garrard County
May 17    Monticello
May 20-22    District at Adair Co.
May 27-29    Region at North Hardin

CHS Eagles’ baseball roster
    1    Stealth Townley (C-INF)        Senior
    2    J.T. Holmes (INF-P)        Sophomore
    3    Dominique Allen (P-OF)        Sophomore
    4    Zach Durham (INF-C-P)        Junior
    5    Chris Sexton (OF-INF-P)        Senior
    6    Blake Moss (INF)        Freshman
    8    Bradley Bates (OF)        Senior
    9    Grant Adams (INF)        Sophomore
    11    Josh Roe (OF-P)        Senior
    12    Tony Barrera (P-OF)        Sophomore
    13    Caleb Gupton (INF-C)        Junior
    14    Dalton Hughes (P-INF)        Sophomore
    16    Chase Thomas (P-OF)        Freshman
    17    Owen Weeks (INF-OF)        Sophomore
    18    Caden Wheatley (OF)        Freshman
    19    Cameron Martin (C-P)        Freshman
    20    Bradshaw Smoot (INF)        Freshman
    21    Cameron Hughes (P-OF)        Senior
    22    Charles Johnson (OF)        Freshman
    23    Tavon Hunter (INF-OF)        Freshman
    24    Austin Hash (P-C-INF)        Freshman
    26    Dakota Cravens (INF)        Junior
    30    Clayton Russell (INF-P)        Freshman
    32    Julian Pierce (OF-P)        Sophomore
    34    Dalton Couch (P-INF)        Junior