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West Ashley High School

West Ashley leaning on experience in 2019

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Charleston – If experience counts for anything in high school baseball, the West Ashley High Wildcats should be in position to challenge for the region 8-AAAAA title this spring.

Though the Wildcats are off to an 0-2 start in region play, coach Tyson Azevedo feels his team can put themselves in the hunt. The Wildcats must improve offensively, which should happen as his team plays more, but the pitching will be the strength of this year’s team.

“We return six position players and a lot of experience on defense,” the coach reports. “We also have two of our three weekday starters, as well as one reliever, returning on the mound. In addition, we have two junior left-handers that could log some time out on the bump.

“We have pretty decent team speed which should allow us to be a little more dynamic on offense. We are looking forward to consistency in effort and a great deal of experience that will hopefully allow us to make a strong push in the playoffs.”

The Wildcats got off to a 3-0 start in the early portion of the schedule, then dropped four straight games, including close late-inning games to Stratford and Cane Bay, and two region games to Fort Dorchester. They snapped the skid with a win over rival James Island on March 15th.

Offensively, the Wildcats have struggled to a team batting average around .230 early on. Senior outfielder Robbie Brown, expected to be a key leader offensively, picked up seven hits in his first 14 at bats. Senior Bryce Brown, the ace of the pitching staff and a College of Charleston commitment, had six RBI’s early on.

Senior Connor Sibbald, a Limestone commit, is returning as a defensive leader at shortstop this season. Senior Chace Cooper returns at first base and is another key arm in the pitching rotation. Senior Brandon Thomas is back as the starting third baseman and senior Myles Corley is at second base.

Senior Elijah Baker and junior Gabe Smith will see time on the mound. Baker also can work behind the plate while Smith is an outfielder. Senior Zayne Limehouse also starts in the outfield.

 Sophomore Tanner Henderson is seeing some action early behind the plate. Junior Garrett Dunn, a left-hander, will work on the mound and also at first base.

West Ashley finished with a 14-11 record last season and made the Class AAAAA state playoffs. Azevedo is 61-42 at the school as he enters his fifth season at the helm.

 

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