Gilbert closed with a 19-7 record in 2009, a year after winning the Class 2A state championship. The Indians finished in a first place tie in Region 3-2A, but lost the No. 1 seed to Mid-Carolina in a tie-breaking game, and pushed Chesnee to the limited before being eliminated in the district phase of the state playoffs.
“We had a solid season,” said coach Ashley Burnett. “We’re going to be very young and have some holes tom fill next season.”
Christopher Owings, Jake Padgett and Adam Spires were the Indians’ all-region picks in 2009, and are among the seven departing senior starters. The rest of the graduating class includes Alex Davidson, Zack Lindler, Kellen Craft and Chad Shirley.
Owings, who is signed up to play at South Carolina, capped a brilliant five-year varsity career by leading the team in batting average (.400), runs (30), hits (28), triples (2) and steals (22), shared the team lead with five home runs and was second on the club in doubles (7) and RBIs (20). For his career, Owings finished with a .388 batting mark (149-for-384), 111 runs, 98 RBIs, 40 doubles, 12 triples, 15 homers and was stole 78 bases in 92 attempts.
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Padgett hit .300 with 28 runs and 13 steals, and was 5-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 57 innings on the hill. Spires hit .356 with 22 runs, 23 RBIs and five homers and was 1-2 with a save in pitching mode. Davidson was 8-0 with one save and a 1.48 ERA.
Gilbert’s projected returning starters are Dylan Skinner, Nathan Price and Connor Owings. Skinner batted .271 with 14 runs and 16 steals. Price hit .316 with 15 runs and 13 RBIs. Connor Owings hit .348 with 13 runs and 16 RBIs, and was 1-0 with a save and a 2.52 ERA in limited pitching duty.