Thursday, March 27, 2014
Fox Creek’s baseball team has opened the season with 10 straight victories before dropping its first game on Monday.
The Predators (10-1, 4-0 Region 4-A), ranked 3rd in Class A, according to the High School Sports Report, defeated Lakeside 1-0, Wagener-Salley 13-4 and Ridge Spring-Monetta 18-3 before falling to Grovetown 4-3.
“It’s a long week, this is the longest part of our schedule,” Wesley Brown, Fox Creek’s head coach, said. “We had five games in six days, because of the rainouts. Right now, they’re competing at a high level and are getting better and better every game. We had a little bit of a letdown at Wagener, but they fought through it and did what we had to do to win. Beating Lakeside was a huge win for us. Somebody told me, a news guy, that was the first time a Class A team had ever beaten a Class AAAAA team in Augusta, so our kids were excited to hear that. We’ve just got to keep rolling, gotta play at that high intensity level for the rest of this week and into next week.”
Although the Predators were able to beat a Class AAAAA school in Lakeside, the Ridge Spring-Monetta win was the game Brown most wanted. The Trojans handed Fox Creek its only region loss last season in a 7-6 game.
“This is a personal game for me, because we lost to them last year,” Brown said. “It was the first region loss we ever had, and the kids took it personal. They were focused from the time we got here today. That’s the intensity and the desire I want them to have on a daily basis.”
In the RSM game, Brandyn Quiller and Adam Hane led the Predators to an easy 18-3 win.
“Brandyn Quiller got that big hit in the first inning and kinda kick-started everything,” Brown said. “Everybody got on his back and then he got back up there again and hit another shot. Everybody is hitting the ball right now, and that’s what we need. That kid that threw for them, Pratt, was their No. 1. He’s a good pitcher. I’m happy to see them hit that leftie like they did.”
Quiller, who acted as designated hitter in the game, said the intensity of his teammates was key for the win.
“We came out with good intensity and were able to hit the ball better than we have been,” he said. “We had a pretty bad slump, but we bounced back against RS-M.”
In his transition from the basketball floor to the baseball diamond, Quiller has not missed a beat. He’s one of the Predators catalysts and has the mentality to put pressure on the defense.
“We were up by a lot, so we didn’t get to steal as much as we wanted to,” he said. “We want to come out the same way, with intensity, and play our game.”
While the Predators didn’t steal as much as they would like to, they still were able to maintain their aggressive nature on the base paths against the Trojans.
“Our speed is one of our biggest attributes,” Brown said. “That puts pressure on people. That alone was the reason we beat Lakeside, we ran a double steal and they chunked it into left field. That’s where the run came from.”
Moving into the next week, Fox Creek will play Hunter-Kinard-Tyler in a game that was to have happened on Tuesday. Before the game, Fox Creek will dedicate its baseball field in the name of former coach Robert Sheppard. The Predators will play at North Augusta on Saturday at 5 p.m. and will face North on Tuesday at home.
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The North Augusta Star.