A more-seasoned, veteran South Lakes High baseball team is looking to break into the win column this spring with much more frequency than a year ago when a greener, younger Seahawks’ line-up experienced just two victories.
“We have a lot of returning experience here,” said Galvin Morris, the South Lakes head coach. “We just have to go out and play well.”
South Lakes was scheduled to begin its new season this week with Liberty District games versus Langley on Tuesday, March 23 and Stone Bridge on Thursday, March 25. The opener against the Saxons was tabbed to be a road game, while the meeting versus Stone Bridge on Thursday will take place at home.
South Lakes’ roster is filled with numerous non-seniors. Even so, many of the team’s underclassmen received vital playing time last year and thus are experienced varsity players. One of the club’s best players is junior Will Sweet, a third year varsity player who will play the hot corner position at third base and also be one of the team’s top pitchers.
“He won’t overpower you [on the mound] but he gets a lot of groundballs,” said Morris, of Sweet’s ability to get opposing batters out on the mound.
At the plate, Sweet will likely hit in the No. 5 or 6 positions in the batting order.
“He uses the whole field,” said Morris. “He’s not a power hitter but he makes good adjustments at the plate.”
Playing shortstop for the Seahawks will be sophomore Nick Beaulac, the returning starter at the critical infield position. As a ninth grader last year, he handled the duties at shortstop in fine fashion. Beaulac will be one of the team’s top starting pitchers as well.
“Last year was a good experience for him playing shortstop at the [high school] level,” said Morris. “He’s just a pure baseball player. He’s improved tremendously and gotten bigger and stronger. He handles the bat pretty well – he can bunt and hit behind the runners.”
As a pitcher, Beaulac compliments a good fastball with solid curve ball and changeup pitches.
<b>SOUTH LAKES’</b> No. 3 batter in the line-up will be junior Wilfredo Corps-Ortiz, a center fielder and third year starter.
“He plays hard and he has a lot of confidence,” said Morris, of Corps-Ortiz. “He’s gotten better each and every year.”
Seeing action at the catcher position will be both sophomore Austin Scheppe, who started behind the plate most of last year as a freshmen, and junior Taylor Gose, the team’s JV catcher last year.
Other key members of South Lakes’ line-up this spring will include sophomore utility player/pitcher Billy McLaughlin, who can play the infield corner positions at first and third bases, as well as being a solid outfielder; junior right handed pitcher John Beck, who will also see some time at third base; and senior relief pitcher Jordan Hataway, who will see time at shortstop.
In all, Morris’ squad has seven returning starters back in the line-up.
“I think we’ll be pretty good defensively and our pitching is pretty solid,” said Morris. “Our bench should be much improved.”
Next Sunday, South Lakes will travel to Bluffton, S.C., just outside of Hilton Head, to take part in the eight-team `Batter Up Tournament.’ The Seahawks will compete in games throughout the week before returning home that following weekend.
Morris said South Lakes, despite having limited success last year, has the potential to be a pretty good team.
“They showed flashes last year,” said the coach. “They know they can win. It’s a matter of getting it done. They’ve worked hard up to this point.”