St. John’s trying to close season on high note
By C.R. Cumbee
Johns Island—The St. John’s baseball team didn’t have any non-conference games to open the season, and the Islanders have gone 1-4 in region play with only three games remaining.
“We just haven’t put it all together. We’re hitting extremely well, averaging about eight to 10 hits a game. We get some good innings out of our pitchers, but then we have innings where we walk a bunch of batters. We just can’t seem to have a game where we put it together, offensively and defensively,” head coach Layton Powers said.
First baseman Michael Thomas has been the leading hitter, boasting an average over .400. Caleb Watson has an inside-the-park home run and Ben Smith has had several extra base hits as well.
“This year I’ve stopped throwing batting practice to them. We have our pitchers throw all their bullpens live. Their batting practice is against pitchers on our level. Not only does it get our pitchers experienced, but it gets the hitters experience against a variety of pitches. That’s made a huge difference,” Powers said.
Watson and Smith have been the regular starters on the mound, but have struggled sometimes with control. Patrick Washington is the top reliever and is a change of pace with his off-speed offerings.
Other starters include catcher James Grant, middle infielder Kameron Smiley, third baseman Kaynet Laboard and outfielders Julian Degraffenridt and Ethan Guest. Defensively, the Islanders have played fairly well, but are still looking to improve down the stretch.
“We’re improved but still unsure in the outfield. The infield is pretty solid and we’ve got speed in the outfield. We’ve done a good job keeping the ball in front of us,” Powers said.
St. John’s travels to Charleston Math & Science and Lowcountry Leadership before returning home for the final time April 19 against Baptist Hill.