By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
In Clay Wright’s second season as head baseball coach at Sardis High, things are settling down. Last year, he was “pretty engulfed in baseball and trying to figure things out.”
Now that he has learned some of the ropes, Wright has the Lions doing well.
After losing the first two games of the season, to Albertville, Sardis is on a five-game winning streak.
“The guys are playing pretty good baseball right now,” he said. “We’re very senior-heavy, and the seniors are doing things right.”
The Lions start seven seniors, a junior and a sophomore.
Leading the charge is senior outfielder Kyle Duckett, who bats fifth in the lineup.
“Kyle’s mainly in left, but changes according to who is pitching,” Wright said. “He’s kind of a utility outfielder, but his main place is in left.
“He also pitches a little, but his defense in the outfield is too good to not have him there when he can.”
Duckett’s bat, however, draws the most praise from Wright.
“He is absolutely wearing it out right now,” Wright said. “I don’t know his stats, but he’s hitting well over .500. He could be close to .800.”
Senior Toby Pee bats leadoff, with sophomore Jesse Hubbard batting second. Senior third baseman Zack Childers is in the 3-hole, with senior right fielder Kailon Robeson batting cleanup.
Junior Dylan Bolding, who plays first base, bats sixth, with three seniors – shortstop Seth Smith, catcher Hunter Tolleson and second baseman/pitcher Dexter McKinney – following.
No. 1 pitcher Robeson already has wins against Sand Rock and Hokes Bluff, two very solid teams.
“After Kailon, I’m still trying to figure out the rotation,” Wright said. “We’ve got the lineup pretty well set but the pitching rotation is totally up in the air. There are several guys who can pitch but the competition is still there for spots.”
Sardis’ Class 4A, Area 12 competition features Crossville, Douglas and defending state champion Guntersville.