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Crenshaw to lead young LHS baseball team

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By Robert Howey

The Lancaster High School baseball team sports its share of new faces as the Bruins launch their 2014 season.

The newest face is first-year head coach Paul Crenshaw, who has a young squad in his first spring guiding the LHS squad.

The 2013 Bruins, who finished 10-12 and earned a Class AAAA Upper State playoff berth, were a senior team.

The 2014 team has only six seniors and few returnees.

Crenshaw has nine pitchers who will see time on the mound.

The cast includes junior Dalton Creighton, senior Brady Collins, sophomore Byron Haigler, sophomore  Brooks Viola, junior Austin Richardson, sophomore Holden Payne, sophomore Neil Taylor, freshman Eric Hall and senior Reshaun “Doopy” Cloud.

Creighton, when not on the mound, will be at catcher. Creighton earned the Junior Bruins’ Clutch Hitter Award last season.

Cooper Ledbetter, a sophomore, will also be behind the plate.

Collins, a LHS captain, will be at first base where Byron Haigler and Viola will also draw playing time.

Senior Jordan Caroway is at second. Juniors Sherlyn Mora and James Fitzpatrick will also work at second.

Junior Austin Richardson gets the call at shortstop, with sophomore Holden Payne also looking to work at short.

Sophomore Neil Taylor, the Junior Bruins’ MVP last season, is at third base. Freshman Eric Hall will also work at the hot corner. Senior Demius Drakeford will also get the hot corner call.

The Lancaster outfield includes seniors Jason Dobbins and Patrick Shannon along with Ledbetter, Fitzpatrick, Cloud, Wesley Snipes and Taylor.

Sophomore Christian Sinclair is the Bruins’ team manager.

Crenshaw is assisted by B.J. Snipes. The Junior Bruins are guided by Palmer Hudson and Robert Belk.

Crenshaw said pitching is a key.

“We’re going to develop our arms and have a good, strong staff,” he said. “We’re going to also have to have our young guys step up.”

Crenshaw said the Region III-AAAA race will be tough.

“Nation Ford and Northwestern are always in the mix for the region crown,” Crenshaw said.

He added the new fencing at the LHS field, Doomsday Corner, is a plus for the program.

“It adds to our field,” he said. “It’s an upgrade and looks good. We’re trying to make improvements to enhance our field, and we feel this is a major addition.”