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Goose Creek High School
Goose Creek

Gators got better as season went along

 

By Rob Gantt

Special to the HSSR

 

GOOSE CREEKGoose Creek High School baseball coach Chris Pond and the Gators didn’t have the sort of campaign they would have liked overall but they did get better down the stretch, winning two of their three games near the end.

“We didn’t have the type of season we wanted to but it wasn’t because the kids quit,” Pond said. “The effort was always there. They kept playing and working hard even though the record wasn’t what they wanted. That says a lot about them and their character.”

The season was the last for six seniors: P Noah Emig (Coker), IF Richie Figueroa (.268, 9 RBIs), OF Ian Aull, C Dillon Clifton, DH Will Ramsey and P Matt Bokern.

A handful of solid players will be back next season, including an all-region pick, as Goose Creek aims to be competitive in Region 7-AAAAA. The Gators have new region foes in Berkeley and Cane Bay and keep region rivalries with Stratford, Wando and James Island.

Returner Jackson Price led the team in hitting with a .367 batting average and also drove in the most runs, earning a spot on the all-region team, followed by Jake Chapman at .329. Figureroa batted .268 with nine RBIs. Walker Howard was one of the team’s better hitters too and a contributor on the mound. He was 1-4 with a 3.68 ERA.

This season’s squad struggled putting complete games together.

“We’d be in a lot of games until about the fourth or fifth inning and then we just couldn’t finish,” Pond said.

The season was the last at GCHS for Pond, who is heading back to coach sports at Timberland High School. He led the Gators for five seasons on the diamond and also coached receivers in football.

He was previously at Timberland for 17 seasons.

“Timberland was home to me for 17 years,” Pond said. “I hate to be leaving behind the relationships I built at Goose Creek but I’m excited to be part of the Timberland family again too. I remember feeling the same way when I left Timberland to come to Goose Creek. You build relationships at places and it’s hard to leave.”

 

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