Meridian Star

February 4, 2013

Veteran Warriors striving for consistency

By Austin Bishop / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

DECATUR —     If consistency is what you’re looking for, it never hurts to have some experience.

    And that’s something the East Central Community College baseball team will have plenty of this season.

    The Warriors, who open the 2013 season at home on Saturday when they host Southwest Tennessee Community College, have got 15 sophomores expected to contribute this season.

    “That’s pretty good,” said seventh-year head coach Neal Holliman. “We only had six sophomores last year, so we we are hoping the extra experience really helps us.”

    The Warriors will be counting on strong pitching, solid defense and an offense that manufactures runs, which all leads to close, low-scoring games.

    “That’s where we hope some of our experience comes in,” Holliman said.

    A lot of ECCC’s experience can be found on the pitching staff. Something Holliman hopes gives his team an edge.

    The five most likely to see the heaviest action as starters in the rotation are Sevy Signa, Blake Dubuisson, Fernando Gonzalez, Mitchel Wooten and Caleb McKee.

    “We are excited to have Wooten and McKee return from injuries after they missed the 2012 seasons,” Holliman said. “We really missed them last year, they would probably been two of the top guys in our rotation.” McKee played his high school ball at Neshoba Central, while Wooten starred at Edinburg.

    Holliman said having sophomores will give his team a little edge.

    “It helps, there is no doubt about it,” Holliman said. “If you do have the right guys you can win as freshmen, but having that year under their belt has to help.”

    When it comes to the offensive side of things, one of the players to watch is sophomore shortstop Tim Anderson, who has already signed to play for the  University of Alabama-Birmingham next season.

    Anderson was ECCC’s MVP last season and was also named All-Region 23 as well as to the MACJC All-State team.

    “He’s a good player for sure,” Holliman said. “The first thing I would characterize him as is a tremendous athlete. But, he’s also coachable. Even with all of the publicity and attention he has gotten, he hasn’t changed.”

    Chase Domino, Jordan Mixon, Kyle Henson and Kalik May are excepted to get a good look at catcher, while McKee and John Morgan Berry will share some playing time at first base.

    Freshman Deon Ulmer and May are working at second base, while Ruberto Alcantara and Maxwell Harmon are at third.

    Terrance Steele will play center field for the Warriors, while Ryan Shotts and Xavier Franklin are the guys to watch in the corner outfield spots. Domino, Zack May and Harmon will also be getting some looks in the outfield.