Devils focused on improvement

Published 8:48 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maplesville on Friday must make a 2-hour trip to play a good Sweet Water team in a playoff series, but that’s not what coach Steven Hunter is concerned about.

Hunter only wants to see his team improve, especially in two areas: Maplesville pitchers have walked too many batters, and Maplesville batters have struck out too many times.

“We just haven’t done what we need to do,” Hunter said. “We have ups and we have downs.”

And the downs have been extra down. For example, against Dallas County on April 7, two Maplesville pitchers combined to walk six batters and hit two more…in the first inning.

Hunter admits that most of his pitchers’ problems can be attributed to a lack of experience. The four Maplesville pitchers expected to toe the mound during the playoff series—Blake Crumpton, Tyler Crumpton, Matt Hamner and Brett Seales—are all either a freshman or a sophomore.

“I’m pretty tough on them, but I know that when they get a little bit more age, they’ll make progress.”

The Red Devils (2-10, 2-2 area) will need that progress to happen sooner rather than later. Their series at Sweet Water will begin at 4 p.m. Friday. If necessary, Game 3 would be played at 2 p.m. Saturday.