Gilbert’s region championship baseball and softball teams open the Class 2A state playoffs at home on Thursday. Both teams went 10-0 in Region 3-2A play.
Ashley Burnett’s baseball team (23-2) opens against Indian Land. The Indians plan in clear: advance to the Elite Eight phase of the postseason for the first time since its championship run in 2008. Gilbert has been eliminated at the district championship game level in each of the past two seasons.
Offensively, the Tribe has scored 233 runs and sports a .394 team batting average. The top producers include Connor Owings (.485, 35 R, 18 RBI), Taylor Burris (.483, 27 R, 16 RBI), Jason Smith (.443, 32 R, 16 RBI) and Mike Morrison (.441, 27 R, 31 RBI, 3 HR).
Owings, Morrison and Josh Tronco are the mainstays of the pitching staff. Tronco is 6-0 with a 1.75 ERA, Morrison is 5-0 with one save and a 3.00 ERA and Owings is 5-1 with one save.
Reuben Eargle’s softball team is 19-3, not bad for a team that became the season in rebuilding mode. The Indians have had a great offensive season – scoring 258 runs and posting an eye-opening .440 team batting average.
Victoria Burkett (.587, 46 R, 39 RBI, 8 HR), Jenna Williams (.462, 36 R, 25 RBI, 4 HR), Savannah Anderson (.442, 26 R, 22 RBI), Kelli Shealy (.433, 22 R, 22 RBI) and Kathryn Cochcroft (.419, 29 R, 23 RBI) are the obvious leaders.