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Fall baseball season 'a tremendous success'
John Johnson guards third while Steven Boaen handles outfield during a recent fall game versus South Effingham.
The Richmond Hill Wildcat fall baseball team wrapped up their season on Nov. 17 by splitting victories in a double header with Jenkins County.
“Obviously, we would’ve liked to have won both games, but we absolutely accomplished our objective which was to get some strong practice for each and every player,” head coach Lee Boaen said. “Every player was included in the batting order with no one sitting on the bench more than an inning. If our ultimate goal was to win both, we would’ve only had nine in our batting order. It was just a fun day and everybody had a really good time.”
After the games, assistant coach Tim Auger, who has spent nearly a decade with some of these boys in rec and his Redbird travel team, recognized seniors Logan Wolfe, Matt Graney, Raul Rodriguez, Ben Auger and Jeremey Goolsby with achievement awards and gave heartfelt thanks for giving him the opportunity to coach them over the years.
The Wildcats lost the first game 8-5, but there were some notable individual performances such as a strong showing from starting pitcher Raul Rodriguez.
“Not a great start with the bats,” assistant coach Jeff Crow said. “Despite the solid pitching, our defense lacked its’ usual aggressiveness against a good hitting Jenkins team. We just couldn’t quite put together a total package to pull out a win.”
The Cats pulled it all together for game two and secured a 13-7 victory. The Richmond Hill bats came alive with some key hits by Ben Auger, Matt Graney and Steven Boaen. Many of the Wildcat runs started as walks from the plate. Crow said some strategic line-up changes helped secure the win.
“The defense was sound in both games, but the hitting wasn’t quite to the level it has been,” Boaen said. “The hot bat of the day definitely belonged to Ben Auger. He was hot all day long – good defense and pitched four to five really good innings in the second game. I was really proud of him.”
Boaen commended the weekend pitching efforts of Kevin Mathews, Kevin Wilson and Graney as well as the batting performance of Cody Rushing.
“Pitching and catching remained solid throughout the day, as it has all season for this team,” Crow added.
Boaen doted on the catching, noting that stellar catching efforts were consistently turned in this fall by John Johnson and Cody Crow. “Their catching has just been phenomenal with base runners being thrown out at an unbelievably high rate.”
Boaen said this fall was a great outing for Richmond Hill baseball and offers a glimpse of what is shaping up to be a great forthcoming regular season – one that was being questioned my many with the loss of so many top notch graduating 2006 seniors.
“The fall season was a tremendous success - far better than I thought it would be,” he said. “A lot of questions were answered here and those answers are extremely positive. Everyone had it in their mind that this coming season would be tough for the Wildcats, but I don’t see it that way. Once these guys are turned over to (RHHS head coach Mitchell) Curry and his staff, we’re going to see some wonderful things. This is the most fun I’ve had coaching and I think we did O.K. for a bunch of dads.”
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