The Braves varsity baseball team got back on track Friday night at home where they swept the Kendrick Cherokees in a doubleheader winning game one 12-1 in five innings and game two 15-0 in just three innings.
Senior Cody Stephens led the way in game one tossing a no-hitter on the mound and also striking big at the plate with a 2-run homer. The Cherokee bats had no answer for Stephens on the mound as he struck out 13 on just 66 pitches with no walks. It was the first no-hitter of Stephen’s career.
Sophomore Dakota Christopher also had a big game at the plate going 2-3 with two RBI’s.
In game two, freshman Drew Blair was on point for all three innings only allowing one hit and striking out seven in the 15-0 thumping of the Cherokees. Only a freshman, Blair looks to be one of the best pitching prospects of the past few seasons for head coach Shane Lasseter.
Christopher had another big game at the plate going 3-3 with two doubles and two RBI’s. Junior Ta Freeland also played well going 2-2 with a triple and 3 RBI’s.
It was a much-needed sweep for the Braves coming off three consecutive losses to Cleburne County, Handley, and Callaway. Several early season games were rained out making it difficult for any of the local teams to build momentum.
Some growing pains are likely this season for the roster which has only two seniors, Stephens and Cody Chapman.
“We have a young team this season and a young program. We have a large number of 11th graders but many of them have never had any varsity experience,” said Lasseter. “The two seniors Cody Stephens and Cody Chapman along with junior Taylor Smith will lead the team at the plate and on the mound. Sophomore Dakota Christopher has been impressive early on and I look for him to become a key ingredient to our success this season. This 9th grade group has some really good raw talented players and we have made that a focus.”
In addition to Blair, another freshman Drew Wulff has seen significant playing time as a starter.
“Our goal as always is to be our best down the stretch. Every region game will be critical as many of the teams are about even with Bremen, Bowdon, Manchester and Temple being the front-runners. This group has been a pleasure to coach thus far and I look forward to the season as they are all working very hard to put us at the top of the region. The last two years we have finished second and hosted playoff series at home and these boys have a lot of pride and want to make sure we keep that going and take the next step. Baseball is a marathon season and the team that can withstand the ups and downs and keep a steady pace usually has a good chance to be successful, so we will see how it goes.”~Head Coach Shane Lasseter
The Braves will face another region foe in the Manchester Blue Devils tomorrow at home and will travel to Central of Carrollton on Wednesday (6:00) and Bowdon on Friday(5:30).
Currently the Braves are 3-3 overall with a 2-0 Region 5-AA mark. For the remaining season schedule visit heardhigh.com. Photo courtesy of THE WARCRY.