Trinity will rely on underclassmen on the diamond

Published 12:27 am Monday, March 2, 2009

NATCHEZ — Seeing as Trinity Episcopal won a district championship in every boys sport last season and has captured two more this year as well, the Saints baseball team is under a little bit of pressure.

But after graduating seven starters from last season’s MPSA District 3-AA championship team, a repeat could be a bit tough.

“Our goals are going to be a little different this year,” said coach Matt Mason. “We’ve basically got a totally new lineup out there this year. Our goals are to win district, get into the state tournament and see what happens.”

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The Saints will trot out a young team this season. Wells Middleton, a utility player and pitcher, is the only senior on the team, and there are five freshmen and five sophomores.

Deacon Newman, R.J. Fleming and Jordan Dossett are the only other upperclassmen on the team.

“It’s a very young baseball team — we’re starting three freshmen every single night,” Mason said. “But the more we play, the more they’re going to improve. We just have to work with them.”

The Saints are 1-2, starting with an 11-2 loss to Centreville, and Trinity faces the Tigers again today.

They played a double-header against CHEF and Central Private in the Central Private Tournament Friday and came away with a split.

“They beat us pretty good,” Mason said of Centreville. “We felt like we should have put on a better showing out there, and we feel like we will next time around. Central Private is one of the best teams in the state, public or private, and in the Vidalia Tournament we’ll play some quality opponents as well.”

Mason said Dossett, a junior, and sophomore Givonni Dent will be Trinity’s No. 1 and No. 2 on the mound and will have to perform well nearly every time out for the Saints to have success this season.

The rest of the arms are young and will have to put the ball in play and trust defense to take care of the outs.

The Saints, Mason said, will have to play fundamental ball on offense.

“We’re not going to be a team that is going to hit a whole lot of home runs,” he said. “We’re not mature enough physically at this point for that. We’ve just got to find the gap and then get those runs in. We have to move around the bases by bunting and stealing.”