Co-Lin counts on pitching

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, February 13, 2011

WESSON – Pitching will be the key to Co-Lin’s success in 2011.After two straight losing seasons, Co-Lin head coach Keith Case isoptimistic about his Wolfpack’s chances of realizing a successfulcampaign.

“If we can get good performances on the mound, we have a chance tobe pretty good,” Case predicted. Case, 49, launches his 19th Co-Lincampaign Tuesday when his Wolves host the East MississippiCommunity College Lions. The 7-inning twinbill begins at 2 p.m. inSullivan Stadium.

Last season, when Co-Lin finished 17-29 overall and 5-18 in theSouth Division, the Pack’s pitching staff posted a 7.28 ERA.Strong, consistent pitching was hard to find. Opposing staffsallowed 6.16 ERA.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On the mound, Case said he planned to start sophomore right-handerBrandon Jones of Leroy, Ala., and freshman Tripp Jolly ofMonticello (Brookhaven Academy) in Tuesday’s openers.

“We have six guys we are looking at to see who will be the othertwo starters in our pitching rotation,” explained Case. DrewWeaver, a right-hander from Brookhaven (Loyd Star) posted a 5-4record last year but under went shoulder surgery Friday to repairdamage.

Sophomore southpaw Ryan Kennedy, Devon Whitbey, Tyler Copeland, BenBoone, Raymond Winter and Cody Wall are among the top prospects onthe mound. Wall is projected as a relief pitcher.

Offensively, the Wolves have several strong batters back in thirdbaseman Bud Britt (.372) of Brookhaven, shortstop Edmond Cheatham(.323) of Terry (Forest Hill), first baseman Conner Oakes (.320) ofMonticello and outfielder Jesse Shows (.309) of Brandon (McLaurin).Britt hit 4 homers and 9 doubles last season and led the team inRBIs with 47.

Shows, Brice Guess and Tyler Reeves are the leaders in left field.Dehendret Collins controls center field. Jarvis Wilbert and ZacFerguson are working in right field.

Behind the plate, Mississippi State transfer Kolby Byrd of BogueChitto (Brookhaven Academy) leads the way, bringing a live bat andstrong defensive skills to the team. Steven Capistran and T.J.Floyd also work as catchers.

Britt at third base, Cheatham at short, Seth Avants and WillieBuckley at second base and Whitbey and Oakes at first base giveCo-Lin a solid defense.

“I’m excited about us getting on the field Tuesday,” said Case. “Wehave a bunch of freshmen and I want to see how they are going toreact.”

Among the Co-Lin starters lost to graduation were all-stateoutfielder Kendall Logan and all-state pitcher/outfielder JeffDeBlieux who signed with Jackson State and South Alabamarespectively. Case also lost two catchers in Ryne Tutor and TylerHue, plus pitcher/third baseman Matthew Freeman, shortstop LukeBrumfield, first baseman Cable McMinn and pitchers Mitch Tidwelland Marshun Hall.