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INDIAN LAND – The Indian Land Warriors’ baseball team, with its share of experience this season, is hoping to improve on an 8-8 finish and earn a Class AA Upper State playoff bid.
The Warriors, led by coach Alan LeRoy, sport seven returnees from a team which just missed earning a postseason berth last spring. IL fell to county rival Andrew Jackson in a game to determine a playoff bid last season.
LeRoy, assisted by his father Bob LeRoy and Bronson Green, has a solid pitching staff led by returning team MVP and all-region pick Chris Cantrell, a senior.
The Warriors’ staff also includes senior returnees Jake Dyer, Chuck Webb and Ryan Lawson along with junior Mike Webb.
Newcomers to the pitching staff include sophomore James Porcelly and junior Bobby McCree, who are up from the junior varsity team. Porcelly won the Junior Warriors’ Defensive Award last season.
Mike Webb, an all-region pick who captured the team’s Offensive Award, will be at catcher, with depth provided by sophomore Travis Floyd.
Lawson, when not on the mound, will be at first base where Porcelly will also see playing time.
Chuck Webb is at second base, with Cantrell slated to handle the shortstop duties.
Matt Murray, a freshman who played middle school baseball last season, will also draw playing time at short.
Veteran Jake Dyer rounds out the Indian Land infield at third base.
McCree will be in left field where senior returnee Dylan Steen will see action along with junior Lane Perkins, who played with the Junior Warriors last season.
Junior Darian Gueldner, the Offensive Award winner on the Indian Land High jayvee squad last season, will be in center field where McCree will also see time. Gueldner earned an all-tournament selection to the Comporium Classic Preseason Baseball tournament which was played at region members Buford and Andrew Jackson.
First-year senior Manny McCord will be in right field, with Josh Evans, who reaped the Warrior Award on the junior varsity team last season, adding depth.
“We have experience with all of our pitchers back which is a plus,” LeRoy said. “I think we will be solid defensively and make plays.
“The key is to make contact at the plate and cut down on our strikeouts,” he said.
LeRoy noted Region IV-AA will continue to be tough.
“We have to be consistent in our play and take one game at a time,” LeRoy said.