Orangeburg Prep hoping to build upon last season
By Ken Buck
Orangeburg - Last season, the Orangeburg Prep baseball team finished around .500 and moved into the second round of the state playoffs.
This year, Head Coach Al Hay’s squad hopes to build upon that success and advance deeper into the playoffs.
“We have advanced in the playoffs my first two years here so we would like to take it another step,” Hay remarks. “But we are kind of starting over after losing seven starters from last year.”
Hay said that, while his team is relatively inexperienced, they are a good group of kids.
“Hopefully we are going to be ok,” he says.
One of the strengths of this young Orangeburg Prep team is their team chemistry, says Hay.
“I think we have pretty close knit group that will work hard and get better as the year goes on,” he explains.
Area of their play that Hay says needs building is pitching depth.
“We have some kids that have pitched in JV before but they have a ways to go before they can contribute on the varsity level,” he says. “But we have been working hard on that. That pitching depth will help us quite a bit.”
Hays also said that his team will have to be very solid on defense. “I don’t think we can outscore (many opponents) with ten runs a game and we are not going to strike out a lot of people either,” he adds.
Orangeburg Prep will have a core of seasoned players that Hays says will be pivotal to the success of the team this season.
Calder West, a senior who will likely be the number one pitcher and also plays second base. West was second on the team in hitting last year with a .364 average.
Junior catcher Chris Brown will also be key for Orangeburg Prep this Spring. He was all-region as a sophomore at second base but Hays says that his more natural position is catcher. He was the team’s leading hitter as a sophomore.
“I expect big things out of him,” says Hays.
Orangeburg Prep has begun the season with a 1-1 record, losing in eight inning to Hammond 6-5, and defeated Cardinal Newman 6-5.