WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Central baseball will open up its regular season this week with three consecutive games on the road.
It all starts tonight at Richard Winn.
The Griffins will be looking to avenge a 3-1 loss in last week’s preseason tournament.
In that game, Fairfield Central made a few base running mistakes, left eight on base, committed two errors and were the victims of three double plays turned by the Eagles.
Despite those mistakes, Fairfield Central head coach Scotty Dean believes his team has enough potential to compete for a region title.
“We didn’t necessarily play bad against Richard Winn, we just made a couple mistakes,” he noted. “We learned that outs on the base path can be the difference in the baseball game and even at the end of the game we had two runners on with only one out but we hit a ball right at the third baseman that turned into an easy double play to end the game. If that ball gets past the third baseman then we could’ve been looking at a tie game.”
According to Dean, the 2014 Griffins have more tools in the shed than previous squads.
“This year’s roster is probably the deepest roster I’ve had here,” he stated. “We have 12 to 13 guys that we feel like can really help us out, so we feel real good about our bench.”
The two top arms in the pitching rotation will be Stanley McManus and Compton Walker. After that, Brandon Adams, Markell Whitaker and Chris Boyd are all candidates for the third spot in the rotation.
Walker has gotten many innings on the mound during the preseason because Dean has been saving the senior’s arm.
“I haven’t pitched him much because I’m trying to save him a little bit and we feel like we can compete in our region with those two guys (Walker and McManus) healthy,” Dean said. “We feel like we have some arms that can throw strikes and Munk (McManus) has look really good this preseason.”
Although the Griffins had limited action this preseason, Dean feels good about his team making the step into the regular season.
“The goal this preseason was to continue to get better,” he noted. “I didn’t expect us to play our best baseball right now, but if we can continue to make strides then by the time it is all said and done we’ll be in the hunt for a region championship. Our guys understand what it take and what we’re trying to do and I think we did get progressively better during the preseason.”
After Richard Winn, Fairfield Central will play at Newberry on Thursday and then open up region action with a game at Columbia on Friday.
Dean fully expects his squad to compete for the region title.
“I feel like roster-wise we have just as good as anybody in our region,” he stated. “And if we get Compton (Walker) and Munk (McManus) going like we know they can go on the hill, then we’ll be able to beat anybody we play.”