Henry seeing positive things from Vols this summer
Starkville Academy coach Neal Henry has seen positive things from his baseball team this summer. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville Academy Volunteers are proving to head baseball coach Neal Henry that they aren't satisfied just going through the motions during the summer.
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Henry is glad to see the Vols taking the game seriously and believes they are using the time to improve.
Another example of that was Monday's 10-3 victory over Columbus High School in the first game of a doubleheader.
Starkville Academy established an early lead and expanded the margin late to put significant distance between it and the Falcons, a Class 6A public school.
"(Columbus has) got a lot of tradition there, play good baseball and are very fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game," Henry said. "I thought we came out and swung the bats really well, ran the bases good and pitched very good. Basically, we played all three aspects of the game very well."
The Vols had 12 hits as a team with Stephen Robertson having the best day with two doubles and a single. He was also the winning pitcher by throwing 94 pitches and recording five strikeouts in six innings.
"Stephen is someone we are going to look to in the future to chew up some innings and possibly start," Henry said.
Henry also noticed the defense that SA played behind Robertson, especially with a couple of sophomores-to-be on the infield in Kirby Cox and Michael Miller.
"Kirby makes a backhand play in the hole and Michael dives for the ball," Henry said. "When they are playing that way, it makes me feel good as a coach to see them actually want to be out here and make plays."
Henry said he's using the summer to see what the Vols have available for next season and place them in the best possible positions to be successful.
The attitude the players have been exhibiting on the field has Henry encouraged.
"These guys come out here, show me they care, want to play and actually want to win," Henry said. "We've had a group of guys who played when they were freshmen and now they are going to be juniors so you expect more out of them than what you did when they were freshmen. It's great to see them make great base-running decisions, great plays in the outfield and just to see them succeed."
Also getting hits for SA in the opening game against Columbus were Hunter Bolin with two singles and a double, Drew Pellum with a double and single, and Colby Runnels, Michael Miller, Alex Holtcamp and Josh Holtcamp with one single each.