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One run proves vital for Baron baseball in 2007
Scenes from Baron Baseball 2007. (Photos by Ashley Byrd)
By Taylor Hereford
Director of Marketing
MOUNT VERNON – One run. Those simple words turned out to play a major role in the Brewton-Parker College baseball team’s 2007 season.
One run could have helped the Barons to a 31-14-1 season record and a shot at playing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament. Instead, one run left the team at 19-26-1 and no tournament berth.
“We lost 12 games this season by one run,” first year head coach Hayne Brant explains. “We did a great job at the beginning of the season driving in runners in scoring position, but towards the middle and end of the season, we couldn’t get it done. And when you can’t capitalize on those opportunities, it’s hard to win the close games.”
Brant quickly pointed to one area of his team that consistently gave the Barons a chance at winning. The Barons’ pitching staff, led by seniors JF Neveu (8-5, 3.29 ERA, one save) and Shaun O’Toole (4-7, 3.45 ERA) and junior Tremayne Holland (4-5, 5.86 ERA), provided strong leadership on the mound and helped to keep the team in each game.
“Our pitching staff did a phenomenal job for us,” he said. “JF and Shaun are going to be greatly missed next year. They, along with Tremayne, were huge leaders on the mound for our team.”
Despite not being able to win the “close” game, the Barons did outperform their opponents at the plate for the season. As a team, BPC finished with a .295 batting average, easily topping its opponents’ .264 average. The Barons were led by sophomore Gary Stauff (.370 avg., 4 HR, 32 RBIs), senior Jeremy Brown (.347 avg.) and juniors Josh Sasser (.333 avg., 6 HR, 23 RBIs) and Josh Evans (.306 avg., 26 RBIs).
One the defensive side, Brant was thankful for the play of senior shortstop, and team captain, Phillip Lee.
“Phillip will definitely be missed,” said Brant. “I know he saved two runs from scoring each game this season because of his great defensive work.”
When asked to reflect on his first season as a head coach, Brant admits there were some difficult moments but adds that the team made his job “a lot easier than expected.”
“There were some trying times this season,” he said. “But when you have good leadership from your players, and they buy into what you’re trying to do, my job is made a whole lot easier.”
As he begins to look to what his second season as head coach might bring, Brant is excited about the team’s chances to capitalize on what was learned this past season.
“We’ll have a lot of juniors next season, which will be good,” he said. “We were able to sign a very good recruiting class – five of the seven players are pitchers – which will go a long way in moving this program forward.”
The new Baron baseball season begins January, 2008.