TRM baseball returns several key players
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
For a school known for its football, the T.R. Miller Tigers baseball team often resorted to winning by football-like scores a year ago.
Fourteen times the Tigers scored 10 or more runs. Nineteen times they scored eight or more. On the flip side, T.R. Miller surrendered 10 or more runs five times and eight or more 11 times.
Despite often having to win in slugfest fashion, the Tigers strung together a 22-8 record and advanced all the way to the Class 3A quarterfinals.
The Tigers lost three main offensive cogs from a lineup that averaged just under nine runs a game. That list included centerfielder Jacob Salter, first baseman Tyler Shehan and catcher Jordan Ball.
First base is the only infield spot that will probably have a different face this season where senior Justin Marshall, junior Mackie Jackson and senior Hayes Peace are all battling for the spot.
Second base will probably be controlled by the duo of senior Jordan Cauley and junior Allen Williams. Senior Jonathan Taylor could also get some work there.
As just mentioned, junior Baxley Raines will divide shortstop duties with Cauley.
Junior Becker Denton handled most of the third base chores last season and will do so again this year. When Denton goes to the mound, Peace, Williams and junior Stephen Mathews will fill
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in at the hot corner.
T.R. Miller's outfield will probably consist of a five-player rotation of junior Brice Martin in leftfield, senior Mikel Riggs in centerfield and junior Tanner Shehan in rightfield. Juniors Kendall Land and Matt Hamric will also get quite a
bit of action in the outfield as well.
Senior Wade McCall will step in behind the plate at catcher. Shehan also figures to see some significant innings in that role.
While T.R. Miller's pitching staff allowed an average of nearly six runs a game last year, Hart is hoping a year's experience for his staff that includes righthanders Cauley, Raines, Denton, Jackson and Williams will drop that figure considerably.
The Tigers claimed the Class 3A Area 1 regular season title last season, but Hart expects a tough tussle to stay in that position this year.
T.R. Miller Tigers
Mar. 2 Excel Home 4 p.m.
Mar. 3 Home vs. Jay at 4 p.m., vs. Flomaton at 6 p.m.
Mar. 4 W.S. Neal JV Tournament
Mar. 7 Andalusia Home 4 p.m.
Mar. 10 Clarke County Home 6 p.m.
Mar. 11 At Montgomery Academy (vs. Montgomery Academy at 12 noon, vs. Trinity Presbyterian at 2 p.m.)
Mar. 14 Andalusia Away (JV 4:30 p.m., V 6:30 p.m.)
Mar. 18 UMS-Wright Away (JV 12 noon, V 2 p.m.)
Mar. 21 Escambia County Home (V 4 p.m. JV 6 p.m.)
Mar. 23 Flomaton Away (JV 4 p.m., V 6 p.m.)
Mar. 24 W.S. Neal Home (JV 4 p.m., V 6 p.m.)
Mar. 31 W.S. Neal Away 12 noon (DH)
Apr. 4 Straughn Away 5 p.m.
Apr. 7 Clarke County Away 4:30 p.m. (DH)
Apr. 11 Excel Away 4 p.m. (DH)
Apr. 14 Straughn Home 4 p.m. (DH)
Apr. 17 Jay Away 4 p.m.
Apr. 20-22 Escambia County Tournament Home