Gilbert’s entry into Class 3A athletic competition this school year has produced a mixed bag of results.
But it has been a case of business as usual for the school’s traditionally strong baseball and softball programs. Both teams have their first 3A postseason testings tonight (Friday) at home. The baseball team hosts James Island in a first-round District 6 opener, while the softball team, which earned the No. 1 seed out of Region 5, welcomes Hilton Head in District 5.
Ashley Burnett’s Indians finished second behind Airport in Region 5 to rate a No. 2 district playoff seed. Not bad for a young team that faced a rebuilding project after winning a state championship in 2A last spering.
Jared Williams, Ryan Knowles and Zach Their have been Gilbert’s top offensive threats to date. Williams, one of only four returning regulars from last year’s title team, is hitting .417 with 24 runs scored, 11 RBI and 24 steals. Knowles, a sophomore, is batting .315 with 19 runs and 10 RBI. There is hitting .433 in 14 games with 13 RBI. Despite missing nine games, he leads the club with two home runs and is second in RBI to veteran Mitch Spires, who has driven in 15 runs.
The strength of the team is pitching. Gilbert enters the postseason with a 1.71 team ERA and a 0.972 WHIP. He workhorses have been veteran Drew Moyer and Jon Newman. Moyer is 5-2 with a 1.20 ERA with 69 strikeouts and nine walks in 46.2 innings of work. Newman is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 35.1 innings on the hill. Seth Kuntz (3-0, 1.47 ERA) and Trever Fredrickson (3-2, 2.24) have been solid as spot starts and in relief.
The softball team enters the postseason with a deceiving 16-10 record. Reuben Eargle’s team struggled at the Lexington and Aiken tournaments – going a combined 3-7 with five one-run losses at the two events. In the games that matters, Gilbert went 8-2 in Region 5 to tie Midland Vally for the championship, and than beat the Mustangs in a playoff game on Tuesday for the No. 1 playoff seed. The Tribe forced the deadlock with a 4-3 win in the second meeting of the teams on March 28 and beat MV by the same score in the tie-breaking clash.
The Indians have been quite productive offensively, sporting a team batting average of .306 and averaging 7.0 runs a game. The leaders include Jenna Williams (.372, 25 runs, 14 RBI, 8 doubles, 3 triples), Alicia Dorgan .294, 14 R, 11 RBI), Savannah Anderson (.329, 25 R, 14 RBI), Gabby Keisler (.378, 14 R, 16 RBI), Emily Jones (.280, 12 R, 15 RBI) and Lyndie Dorgan (.314, 14 R, 12 RBI).
Lyndie Dorgan is the ace of the pitching staff. The junior right hander is 12-6 with a 1.50 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 102.2 innings in the circle. She is Gilbert’s career leader with 53 wins and only 14 losses.