Archived Story

Chilton County area baseball preview

Published 10:45am Monday, February 25, 2013

Jemison Panthers

Class 4A

Coach

Jason Easterling

Last year

Failed to make playoffs

Returning starters

Austin Chapman (junior, right field), Danny Eslinger (senior, pitcher/left field), Jacob Hatch (junior, outfield/designated hitter), Austin Broadhead (senior, shortstop/second base)

New faces

Jacob Bates (freshman, first base), Grant Martin (sophomore, pitcher)

Outlook

Coach Easterling said 18 different Panthers on the varsity and junior varsity teams will take the mound at some point. The depth is a luxury, but he said none of the pitchers have stood out above their peers. “We hope to pound the strike zone and play good defense,” he said.

Maplesville Red Devils

Class 1A

Coach

Brandon Shanks

Last year

Advanced to semifinal round of state playoffs

Returning starters

Colby Chambers (junior, third base), Zach Bush (junior, shortstop), Trevor Wallace (freshman, shortstop/second base), Fuqua Seales (senior, first base), Brandon Abbott (junior, catcher), Damian Mitchell (junior, left field), Trent Smitherman (junior, center field), Brett Walker (junior, right field)

New faces

Brady Gilliland (8th grade, second base)

Outlook

After a run to the state semifinals that some might have considered a surprise, coach Shanks’ team has its sights set on another successful campaign. “We’ve been there,” he said. “We’re ready to take that next step and be in the finals. They’ve got that taste of it; they’re ready for a little more.”

Thorsby Rebels

Class 3A

Coach

Ab Argent

Last year

Advanced to the third round of state playoffs

Returning starters

Brantly Maddox (senior, pitcher/first base), Bo Hoffman (senior, third base/pitcher), Matt Morgan (junior, catcher), Denham Childress (senior, third base/designated hitter), Parker Bryan (senior, shortstop)

New faces

Chris Brown (sophomore, outfield), Jagger Cook (junior, outfield), Cody Scott (junior, outfield), Braden McRae (junior, outfield/second base), Tyler Owens (sophomore, first base/third base)

Outlook

Coach Argent likes the versatility his players have, but it could make keeping up with a lineup card a headache. “When we move one guy, it’ll change the whole defense,” he said. “We’ll move two or three guys for one pitching change.”

Verbena Red Devils

Class 1A

Coach

Scott Doss

Last year

Advanced to second round of state playoffs

Returning starters

Jacob Montgomery (senior, utility/pitcher), Phillip Hensley (senior, utility/outfield), Jesse Ellis (senior, first base/pitcher), Jared Mims (junior, catcher)

New faces

Brady Pope (senior, outfield), Jacob Wilson (junior, first base/third base), Adam Heflin (sophomore, third base), Dakota Vessichio (freshman, second base), Cole Mims (8th grade, shortstop/pitcher), Quandarius Ray (sophomore, left field), Chris Cook (freshman, right field/pitcher)

Outlook

Most days, the Red Devils will start two seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, two freshmen and one eighth grader. “The future is bright for us,” coach Doss said. “We may take some lumps this year, but we’ve got a good nucleus if we can keep them all together and avoid injuries.”

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