High School Sports

March 7, 2014

Preview: Swansea baseball

Tigers' improvement hinges on better offensive production.

Swansea returns a solid core of varsity players, but the question of hitting will be at the center of things once again this season.

Simply put: the Tigers figure to be solid defensively and have good pitching, but will they hit enough to be a factor in a tough Region 5-3A?

Swansea did not produce at the plate a year ago, dooming the team to an 8-15 overall record, a 4-6 region showing and a quick state playoff exit. If the offensive does not improve, the Tigers won’t have the improvement they are looking for in 2014.

“We return three of our four spots on the infield and three outfield contributors from last year’s team and our pitching staff is experienced, tough, and will give us a chance to win every game,” said coach Joey Leo.

“We struggled at the plate last year, as most young teams do, but we worked very hard over the off-season and have made strides in the right direction. But, we still have to prove ourselves.”

The Tigers are still a young bunch. Devin Kirby is the only senior among the returning starters. Juniors Austin Price, Joseph Sightler, Ryan Mcelveen, Bubba Chavis, Jackson Lucas and Jacob Smith are the other vets on hand.

Newcomers to watch include juniors Alex Gause, Blake Sandy and Addison McKinley and sophomores John Gregory and Eddie Whitaker.

Swansea opens the regular season at home against Ridge View on March 12.

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