Knights hope to finish strong
By Rob Gantt
Special to the HSSR
GOOSE CREEK – The Stratford High School baseball team won’t be a part of the postseason fun this spring but that doesn’t mean all the news is bad.
The Knights have a very young team that figures to improve, second-year coach Brandon Beckman said.
“We have a lot of guys eligible to return for the next two or three years,” Beckman said. “This is a group that must keep working. They have talent, and are starting to realize that if we don't walk people, play good defense and can execute by doing a job during an at-bat we aren't a bad team.”
In its last game, Stratford (4-12) defeated rival Goose Creek 12-4 on Tuesday, April 4. It was the first region win of the season.
The Knights scored nine runs in their final three at-bats to break a 3-3 tie. Travis Lott was the catalyst, going 3 for 5 with three RBIs. Pitcher Ethan Struthers, third baseman Dylan Stewart and shortstop J.J. Harper all collected a pair of hits.
Catcher Blake Marrs chipped in a two-run triple and also knocked in another run.
Struthers started on the mound and helped himself with two RBIs. Beckman said he’s proud of how Struthers has played this season. He is batting .442 with an on-base percentage of .531. He’s scored 12 runs and stolen seven bases.
“He is a competitor and leads this team by example,” Beckman said. “He plays the game the right way. He plays hard no matter what the score is.”
Lott is batting .400 with a .489 on-base percentage. Marr is at .300 with a .410 on-base percentage. Lott has nine RBIs and Marrs 10.
Before beating Goose Creek, Stratford had a competitive, 7-3 loss to Summerville. Will McGuire had two hits for the Knights and pitchers Jaden Maynor and Chandler Shriver were solid in relief.
In a similar effort, the Knights came up just short in a 7-5 loss to West Ashley in extra innings.
Struthers had two hits and Steven Bell knocked in a pair of runs. Struthers and Lott also had RBIs. Pitchers Cody Kinard and Harper battled to keep it close.
The Knights play Goose Creek again on April 7.
“Our guys are committed to this season,” Beckman said. “It isn't what we hoped it would be but we still have baseball to play. Their goal is to go out and win the games remaining on our schedule.”