IR baseball gearing up for St. Mark’s after tough start

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Sophomore pitcher Myles Clark takes the mound against Smyrna on Thursday, March 24.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Sophomore pitcher Myles Clark takes the mound against Smyrna on Thursday, March 24.There aren’t many teams in the state with a tougher schedule than the Indians this season, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We wanna play the best,” said head coach Chris Megee. “We’re going through a little bit of adversity and learning how to win.”

The strength of schedule has shown early on so far this season, with the team falling to Polytech 23-12 on Wednesday, March 23, in their opener, and to Smyrna 10-0 on Thursday, March 24.

The Indians hung tough in their first match up, tying the game at 5-5 with a hitting rally in the bottom of the second, then tying it back up again at 10-10 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth before the Panthers pulled away.

Sophomore catcher Cole Hitch and senior Joey Anderson each doubled in that game, while the Indians saw a total of five pitchers in the rotation. Sophomore Pryce Jones got the start, with freshman J.J. Killen, senior Jake Hudson, senior Deshawn Aiken, and senior Zion Howard all seeing action on the mound.

Senior OF Ryan Engh went 1-2 with a single against Smyrna, with sophomore Myles Clark seeing the lion’s share of the pitch count before sophomore Mark Smith entered the game in relief in the fourth inning.

“We went through quite a few pitchers last night as both teams did,” Megee said after the Smyrna game. “The guys still battled — they didn’t quit.”

Aside from Hitch and Anderson, the team has also seen contributions from freshman Grant Argo and Kyle Furley so far this season, while still being lead by seniors like High Point University-bound Engh.

“He’s hitting the heck out of the ball, I don’t think there’s anybody hotter than him right now,” Megee said of Engh’s performance at the plate. “We asked Ryan Engh to DH for us today and he accepted that position and was a senior leader like we want him to be.

“The freshman I think are doing a tremendous job. Grant Argo’s doing a good job. J.J. Killen’s doing a good job. We had Kyle Furley back there behind the plate towards the end of the game, then we have Jacob Anderson out there starting in center field.”

The young squad was getting ready for another tough test after spring break, scheduled to head up to St. Mark’s on Saturday, April 2, at 1 p.m. The Spartans are coming off a 15-3 season and started 2016 with a 12-0 win against Hodgson Vo-Tech on Wednesday, March 23.

After that, they’ll get back into conference play, taking on Sussex Tech in Georgetown on Thursday, April 7, at 4:15 p.m.

“Hopefully we’ll get back and we can talk about some mental mistakes and they can grow from it and keep getting better,” said Megee. “We’ve gotta a lot of good things going we’ve just gotta come together and start getting some wins and get on a roll.”