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St. Johns Islanders High School
John's Island

St. John’s baseball looking for improvement

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Johns Island—The St. John’s baseball team had a coaching change just prior to the season as Layton Powers stepped down and Kevin Hammack and Josh Harpe filled the void.

“The players have responded positively,” Harpe said. “We had a lot of guys graduate last year so it’s been a learning process. We’ve got nine people that have never picked up a baseball before so we’re just trying to teach life lessons about hard work, being mentally tough and doing the little things right, and playing together for a greater cause. We’re taking our lumps right now but in the future we should be pretty good.”

The Islanders have only two starters back from that 2018 squad in junior pitcher/catcher Bradley Murtaugh and junior infielder/pitcher Ethan Guest.

“We’ve had to use those guys everywhere. When we have bad innings, they’re a positive voice that keeps everybody calm. They’re teaching the younger kids how to handle adversity and come back. They’ve done a great job so far,” Harpe said.

Joining Murtaugh and Guest in the starting lineup is senior outfielder Romone Barron, senior pitcher/third baseman Hunter Blasingame, senior catcher/first baseman Noel Gamez, junior second baseman Miguel Lopez, freshman shortstop/pitcher David Macias and freshman first baseman Joshua Broach.

Other players on the roster this season include sophomore second baseman John Harkins and outfielders David Vargas, William Frazier, Bryce Edwards and Solomon Bangura.

St. John’s is only playing a 10-game schedule this spring (all region contests) and has gone winless through the first half. However, the team is concentrating on making a better showing during the final stretch against Military Magnet, Charleston Math & Science, Palmetto Scholars Academy and Baptist Hill.

“We just want to improve. We’ve gone through the region once and we want to improve against each opponent when we play them the second time. We may or may not win, but we want to show the kids that working hard equals improvement, which in turn will equal success,” Harpe said.

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