SA baseball gets win on senior night
Landen Rogers and fellow seniors entered Tuesday night looking to finish the season on the right note as Starkville Academy took on Leake Academy for its senior night.
Coach Brooks Roberts and his Volunteers have been hot as of late and wanted to carry that momentum over as they get ready for playoff baseball.
His team certainly did that as Starkville Academy defeated the Rebels 10-1 in a game where the seniors had a huge impact.
“These guys come to work every day,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the group, especially going out on their home field with a win on senior night. They’ve won a lot of ball games as a group. They’ve won a lot of ball games this year, and they’ve won a lot of big games too. It’s a really close group. They all hang out with each other. There’s not one guy that just kind of sits off to the side. That goes for the whole team, especially the seniors. It’s a really close group, and they’re a fun group to coach.”
The Vols wasted no time in making a statement. After Rogers retired the first three batters consecutively, the SA offense caught fire from the very start. Carter Roach and Howell Archer both squared the baseball up and drove it right back up the middle in back to back at-bats to start the game. Kyle Faver then came to the plate and drove in Roach in what was a close play at the plate.
After that, Dillon Carrell legged out an infield single. This left the bases loaded with no outs with Codie Futral coming to the plate. Futral took advantage of the huge opportunity by lacing a line drive to left field to score another one. Will Holley continued the hot Volunteer start by driving in two more with another line drive single. By this time, the score was 4-0 and Starkville Academy had already made its way all the way through its line up. The first inning ended up resulting in seven Vol runs on a plethora of hits.
“Anytime you put up a seven spot in the first, you’ll gladly take it,” Roberts said. “We had good swings and good approaches at the plate. We didn’t try to do too much. We just put the ball in play. We hit a couple line drives in the gap and were aggressive on the base paths. We scored two runs that inning that we probably shouldn’t have scored just off of extremely good base running and execution. You have a game plan where you want to start fast and finish faster.”
Starkville Academy’s offense did not carry over the same performance as it did the first inning. This can be contributed to the fact that Leake Academy never quit competing and really started playing better baseball. The Vols were able to pound out three more runs over the remaining innings, but could not match their first inning performance. Starkville Academy had 15 hits at the end of the night. Faver, Futral, and Carrell all had three hits each to lead the charge at the plate.
The Volunteers did not have to worry much about performing great at the plate after the first inning. This was because Rogers was in absolute control on the mound. The senior showed out on his senior night. Rogers pitched six innings and had everything working for him throughout. He only gave up three hits and struck out four while only allowing one earned run to top it all off.
Whether the Vols' bats would’ve shown up or not, Rogers would’ve given them a chance to win anyway.
“It felt good,” Rogers said. “It was a little emotional. I just to just take it all in. That was one of my last games to play on this field and to pitch for Starkville Academy. I love playing with this team. They have good heart and they never get down if they make a mistake or something. They’re always up. They are just really good in the field. I wasn’t thinking much about anything. I just threw whatever he told me and did my best. We just have to get better every game for the playoffs.”
Starkville Academy will play Oak Hill Wednesday in order to stay in tune for the playoffs.