By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
March 26, 2014 — Jeremiah Shearer said his team has a completely different makeup from last year’s 62nd District championship team.
With the graduation of nine seniors a year ago, the Raiders knew they would have to search for a new identity.
All they have done is put up 71 runs in eight games, including a 12-0 defeat of Raceland Monday evening in Grayson.
“We came out and put a couple of runs up early and set the tone for the rest of the game,” Shearer said. “We’ve gotten off to good starts in several of our games this season and it’s worked well for us.”
Sophomore Jordan Walburn and senior Austin Wells each had three RBI against Raceland. Chandler Adams and recent Berea College signee Jesse James brought home two runs. Andrew Sharp also had an RBI. Each player for East got a hit.
“We were really patient at the plate,” Shearer said. “We made them throw strikes and we hit the ball hard and put together some timely hits. They walked us a few times and we made the pay for their mistakes.”
Shearer added: “Usually pitching is ahead of hitting at this time of year but our hitting has really come on. We’ve hit the ball hard each game we’ve played, getting 10-12 hits a game. We’re really hard outs from 1-9 and you like to see that this early in the season.”
As impressive as the offense was, Austin Floyd was equally as dominant on the mound. He gave up only one hit, a Tyler Morris single and one walk while striking out six Rams for the win.
East (4-4) leads the region in games played and Shearer has used that to his advantage to see what group of players can develop the best chemistry on the field.
“It’s allowed us to look at different lineups because we’ve had a different one in every game this season,” Shearer said. “We’ve had 15 of 16 kids that have played and it gives us an opportunity to try different combinations and see what we’ve have.”
He’s used the early start to try 14 pitchers to create depth on the mound.
But Shearer wants to see more out of his rotation.
“Our thing right now is having our pitchers get command of the zone and we’ve struggled with that early,” Shearer said. “It’s all about throwing strikes. There are eight other guys out there on the field that can back you up if they make mistakes. But I feel like that will get better as the season goes along.”
Because of Tuesday’s snow, the Raiders’ game against Boyd County was postponed. East Carter will host Sheldon Clark Thursday.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.