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A solid group of returning starters and additional help from last season’s Waccamaw 1A/2A Conference champion junior varsity squad have North Brunswick baseball coach Randy Fennell optimistic going into the season.
Seven starters are back, including the entire pitching staff off a team that finished 11-13.
The return of junior catcher Dakota Irwin, who was sidelined much of last season with a head injury, should provide help.
Fennell expects to get big offensive numbers from infielders Randall Rabon, Adam Herring, Blake Norris, Frank Walsh and Irwin as well as sophomore outfielder D.J. Graham.
Tim Child, Cody Harper and Josh Hamilton, who did not play last season, are set at the top of the Scorpion pitching rotation with Tyler Smith, Rabon, Ronnie Benton and Chris Normandt set for spot starts and bullpen duty.
Norris and Benton figure to share time at first base with Herring, Walsh and A.J. Perkins manning second base and shortstop. Rabon and Jeremy Fairfax are competing at third base.
Senior centerfielder Mihkail Wheeler will be joined by Graham, Ethan Child and Weston Russell on the corners.
“Our offense should be much improved,” Fennell said.
Coach Joey Quinn is hoping to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish in the Waccamaw 1A/2A Conference.
Senior Bobby Howard, sophomore Alex Pudney and Edie Andrews are the returnees who will head up this squad along with six freshmen, the most newcomers in several years. Howard and Pudney will play at the No. 1 and 2 positions.
“I believe we will be better as the freshmen gain confidence and experience,” Quinn said.
Four of the six—Roy Carroll, Logan Graffious, Mathew Knotts and Charles Swart—are showing well and will joined by Nick Barton and Dennis Comer in fighting for the final spots in the Scorpions’ lineup.
The Lady Scorpions have a new coach, Lionel Bryant, and a few returnees from last season in Asheley Robbins, Sheniqua Harrison, Brittini Bell, Valeria Jones and Shiatia Thomas.
“I’m coming home,” said Bryant, a 1979 graduate of North Brunswick. “I want to rebuild the program. North Brunswick has a strong softball tradition.”
Harrison will be counted on as the team’s No. 1 pitcher while Bell, the only senior on the team, is the catchet. Jones is back at second base and Thomas in center field.
Freshman Mariah Freeman is expected to help out in the outfield along with Robbins.
Two athletes who will be counted on are Shawn Sanders and Joshua Balloon.
Sanders will compete in the 110 and 300 hurdles as well as the high jump while Balloon tosses the shot put and discus. The Scorpions are always very competitive in the relays.
With its tennis courts refurbished, North Brunswick is resuming its program.