Season at a crossroads
Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
They may not be at the halfway point in their schedule in terms of games played, but the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks baseball team has reached the second part of its season with the start of Alabama Community College Conference Conference play this week.
The ACCC has designed its conference season where teams will play its scheduled five games against a conference opponent in the same week.
For example, the Warhawks kicked off their part of the ACCC slate Tuesday when they hosted L.B. Wallace for a doubleheader. The teams will then square off again Thursday in Andalusia for a nine-inning game and Saturday at the same site for a doubleheader.
The Warhawks completed the non-conference portion of their schedule, with the exception of a March 31 date at Central Alabama, when they knocked off visiting Baton Rouge (La.) 10-1 Friday.
The win improved JDCC's record to 11-9 and put it two games above .500 for the first time since opening day. The Warhawks lost six of their first nine games and have since won eight of their past 11 games.
The numbers back up Blevin's feeling. The Warhawks have given up a total of five runs in their last three games and four or less in six of the past eight.
Nobody on the JDCC staff has been particularly overworked. Adam Reed has worked the most innings (25) over eight appearances, which comes out to just more than three innings per appearance. Jonathan Milling and Ronnie Baker are next in line with 18 innings of work. Five more pitchers had worked at least 11 innings.
The Warhawks' hitting has been up and down. Six times JDCC has scored at least 10 runs a game. Four times it has been shut out.
Out of players with at least 25 at bats, Brandon Sapp leads the Warhawks with a .464 batting average, and Kenny McDonald is also above .400 at .424. Jeremy White is third at .364, while Steven Bingert is at .359.
Based on what it has done during the non-conference season, Alabama Southern probably enters the ACCC south season as the favorite with a 22-3 record. However, four other teams went through non-conference play with winning records. L.B. Wallace is 19-5, Wallace State-Dothan is 20-7, Faulkner State is 12-8 and JDCC is 11-9.
How well JDCC is able to contend probably depends on how quickly its freshmen, which make up 32 of 37 roster spots, continue to develop.