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Stratford High School
Goose Creek

Knights hope lessons learned pay off in 2018


 

By Rob Gantt

Special to the HSSR

GOOSE CREEK – Young teams often take their lumps in any sport but the good news is those lessons can pay off down the road.

Stratford High School’s baseball team has a chance to benefit from those trials and tribulation endured during a rough 2017 slate when next spring rolls around, second-year Knights coach Brandon Beckman believes.

“With work this offseason and a year to get stronger this team should be better next year,” said Beckman, whose team finished 7-16 and missed out on the Class AAAAA playoffs. “They have to want it though. They have to truly feel like losing is the worst thing in the world, and be determined to never lose again. We have to coach them to play like they are mad at the world, and have something to prove every time they step on the field and wear the red and black.”

Stratford waves goodbye to five seniors, including team leader Ethan Struthers. Steven Bell, Kobie Dickerson, Hunter Taylor and Chandler Shriver were also 12th graders.

Struthers, who pitched and played outfield, batted .411 and had an on-base percentage of .528 to go along with 10 RBIs. Bell played first base and Shriver was 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 14 innings. Taylor and Dickerson, standouts in football during the fall, were leaders in the baseball dugout.

As for next year, Stratford can return the majority of its starting lineup, and many of those can come back for a season beyond that too.

One of those is sophomore catcher/first baseman Travis Lott, who batted .362 with 14 RBIs. Sophomore third baseman Dylan Stewart batted leadoff and posted a .435 on-base percentage.

Freshman J.J. Harper, who played outfield and infield, had a .450 on-base percentage and a respectable .264 batting average for a ninth grader. Blake Marrs, a sophomore, caught and played at first base. He drove in 14 runs.

“He's a big kid and we know he is going to get better,” Beckman said. “Harper has all the tools to be really good.”

Freshman J.J. Harper, who played outfield and infield, had a .450 on-base percentage and a respectable .264 batting average for a ninth grader.

Josh Davis, an eighth grader, started every game for the Knights and got experience on the mound and in right field. Cody Kinard was a sophomore starting pitcher.

Junior leftfielder Justin Lifsey will be part of the senior group in 2018 after batting .279 with eight RBIs. Second baseman Will McGuire was also a junior and knocked in eight runs.


 

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