By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
Talk about your loaded baseball areas.
Class 2A, Area 13 has three ranked teams – No. 3 Westbrook Christian, No. 7 Sand Rock and No. 9 West End.
Then there’s Gaston, which made the 2012 Class 1A quarterfinals and finished at 15-10.
“We have a lot of potential,” Gaston coach Derrick Sewell said. “If we can take advantage of that potential and start doing some things right, we have a chance to pull some surprises. We might even make the playoffs, even with three other powerful teams in the area. Right now, we’re still juggling the lineup, trying to find the perfect mix.”
The Bulldogs only graduated one player from last year, but three others transferred to private schools.
“People can read into that whatever they want to,” Se-well said. “It’s making it harder for us to find the right players, but I’ve got confidence in our kids.”
So far, the Bulldogs are making too many mistakes in every phase of the game, according to Sewell. But they are mistakes that can be corrected.
“We’re relatively inexperienced right now,” he said. “We’ve got eight seniors, but most of them don’t have much game experience. I have told them that if they keep at it and do the right things, that we will start to get more wins.”
Gaston starts a seventh- and an eighth-grader.
So far, catcher Jackson Bogle and first baseman Dustin Gunter are the Bulldogs’ biggest scoring threats. They both have high on-base percentages and Bogle has hit two home runs.
Center fielder Destin Pollard is the defensive stalwart as he is able to track down and catch most balls hit in his direction. Pollard is also the No. 2 pitcher.
Allen Davidson is the No. 1 pitcher.
“(Davidson) has had some rough outings,” Sewell said. “But part of that is because of errors and not much run support.”
After Davidson and Pollard, the rest of the pitching is by committee.