Yellow Jackets battling for region supremacy
By C.R. Cumbee
Andrews—The landscape of the conference may have changed due to realignment for the Andrews baseball team, but the Yellow Jackets are still expected to challenge for a region championship.
The team is 6-7 overall, but 5-2 in Region 7-AA, good for third in the standings.
“I projected that we’d be battling Latta and Johnsonville. I think we’re in a pretty tough region,” head coach Roland Clemons said. “We stubbed our toe against Latta in the first game and we lost 4-3 to Johnsonville and left the bases loaded twice without scoring a run. We’ve had our hiccups, but we’re still getting better.”
With the new pitching rules, Andrews has used more than 10 players on the mound this spring. However, the Yellow Jackets have relied mainly on Dawson Bourne, Bryce Johns and Dylan Morris.
“The name of the game is throwing strikes and the offense putting the ball in play. We struggle, at times, throwing strikes. We don’t have overpowering pitching. We’re going to throw to contact and spin it a little bit to keep you off-balance, but we have to make plays on defense,” Clemons said.
At the plate, Andrews has seen plenty of production throughout the order. Morris, who also plays shortstop, is hitting nearly .300 with 19 runs scored and 11 stolen bases out of the leadoff spot. Second baseman Demarre Moore (.381, 12 runs) is another table-setter.
Infielder Luke Lambert has a .312 average with a team-high 14 RBI in the three hole.
“Luke has been pretty consistent. He’s put the bat on the ball real well,” Clemons said.
Also swinging a hot bat is catcher Ethan Browder (.353). Johns, a sophomore who also sees action in the outfield, has a .333 average with 12 runs batted in.
Left fielder Caleb Stone (.364), third baseman Dayton Altman (.375) and centerfielder Jaizell Murphy round out the starting lineup.
Other players on the roster this season include Joshua Cannon, Cody Lively, Dylan Cox, Steve Colo, John Bradley Glisson, Kaleb Bryant and Cody Camlin.
The Yellow Jackets will get a chance at revenge as they travel to Latta next. They return home April 7 against Johnsonville.