Eagles defend area title with inexperienced team

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 6, 2006

They say that state championships in baseball are not won in March, but there's one person who doesn't buy into that thinking.

Fort Dale Academy coach Clint Lowery is looking to build off an area championship and a 14-7 season with one of the more inexperienced teams he's had since he's been at Fort Dale.

&#8220I want to build momentum as we go,” he said.

The Eagles open the season Monday at Beeland Park against Escambia Academy.

In Fort Dale's run for an area title last season, Lowery was able to lean on some veteran players. This year, he only has three sets of shoulders to lean on.

Casey Weston, Ben Coker and Brady Newton are his only returning starters from last season.

Weston looks to lead the Eagles pitching staff as a sophomore. Following Weston will be Greenville High transfer Andrew Phelps, Blake Mullins, Coker and Newton.

And when Weston isn't pitching he now will be catching his teammates. He started at third base last season, but has been called on to lead the team behind the plate when he's not on the mound.

Meanwhile Newton returns to shortstop where has been a three-year starter as has been Coker in left field.

Lowery still is looking for a second baseman, while John Lewis Golson will take over at third base for Weston.

Golson saw a significant amount of playing time although he didn't start last season, so he does add some experience to what Lowery calls an inexperienced ballclub.