Eagles have several big spots in lineup to fill
Published 8:18 am Monday, February 26, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Teams that average nearly 10 runs a game like the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles did last season have some room for error.
Considering the Blue Eagles have lost the top three spots in the lineup from that team which went 16-8 overall and advanced to the playoffs for the first time in four years, the margin for error this season may be smaller.
The Blue Eagles infield returns starters on the corner, but new faces will be in the middle infield spots.
Senior first baseman Jared Cooper has been a fixture at that position since he was in middle school. Senior Aaron Lambert and junior Aaron Nelson will back him up
Junior Jake Smith saw considerable time at the other infield corner spot at third base last year. He will be backed up by junior Jake Hunsinger.
Second base will likely be filled by seniors James Freeman and Bobby Freeman.
Senior Josh Sawyer is expected to step into the shortstop role. Sophomore Tyler Cross will also see some action.
Campbell admits several questions remain about his potential outfield lineup. The list of potential candidates include juniors Tyler Brown and Jake Hodges, seniors Jimmy Conner and James Freeman and sophomore Wayne Mitchell.
Sophomore Jacob Cannon returns behind the plate at catcher.
Senior Nykeem Barton is expected to be used in pinchrunning duties.
Senior lefthander Josey Brown is expected to anchor the pitching rotation. Sawyer, Tyler Brown, Hunsinger and sophomore William Shell are expected to join him.
W.S. Neal's new Class 4A Area 2 home includes former Class 3A Area roommate T.R. Miller along with newcomers Andalusia and Hillcrest-Evergreen.