A fresh start: Green Wave look forward to playoffs

Marquez Carter takes a swing during a recent game (Photo courtesy of Stephany Watson)
Danny P. Smith
For Daily Times Leader

It has been a tough stretch lately for the West Point Green Wave on the baseball field, but a new season and fresh start await.
The Green Wave open the Class 5A playoffs on Friday and head coach Blake Hutchinson is anxious to see how his team responds to the postseason.

"We've been dealing with sore arms and didn't have our picking quite lined up the way we needed to, but I think we've got everybody healthy now," Hutchinson said. "We're looking forward to seeing what we can do in the playoffs."

West Point travels to Cleveland Central on Friday, then hosts game two Saturday and will travel back to the Delta for the third game if necessary.

All games are scheduled for 6 p.m. starts, but there is a chance Saturday's time could be moved up due to potential weather issues.
After losing to Lafayette 9-7 on Tuesday night, the Green Wave finished the regular season with a 10-14 overall record and 4-5 in Class 5A, Region 2. West Point finished third in the district behind Grenada and Saltillo.

"We played well enough to get in and that's what you want to do," Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson's Green Wave made a comeback bid against Lafayette that fell just short.
"We held some of our pitching back and threw some younger guys to get ready for Friday," Hutchinson said. "We still had an opportunity to win. We went to the bottom of the seventh down 9-5, scored two to make it 9-7 and had the bases loaded, but we were one hit away from tying it up and didn't get it done."

Gray Berry has a .429 batting average to lead West Point with 27 hits in 63 at-bats and his eight doubles leads the team.

Roe Ketchum has a .325 batting average with 26 hits in 80 at-bats and 18 runs batted in.

Although Ketchum and Berry have led the team at the plate and on the mound this season, Hutchison has watched the entire team get in on the fun of producing.

"I really like the way we are swinging the bats right now," Hutchinson said. "We are hitting right around at .300 as a team. Roe and Gray have done some great things on the mound. It has really been a team effort swinging the bats. It hasn't been just one guy."
It could be a competitive series with Cleveland Central. The Green Wave lost a 6-5 decision to Cleveland Central in the Oxford Tournament back in March.