Saints dig in

Published 12:02 am Thursday, January 31, 2013

LBWCC’ infielder Brent McNair catches a throw at second base during practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

There’s gonna be a lot of inexperienced players on LBWCC’s baseball team, but rest assured, the Saints will be competitive late this season, head coach Steve Helms said.

LBWCC will get its season started tomorrow at home in the T.J. Fleming Invitational at 4:30 p.m. against Chipola.

The Saints are comprised of 19 freshmen and 13 sophomores this season.

“We’re an inexperienced team that’s really worked hard,” Helms said. “They are really committed to each other. I look for us to struggle early and be competitive late in the season.”

Helms said the strength of this team will be chemistry. Its weakness, depth.

“We don’t have much depth as far as positions go,” he said. “Our pitching staff is really limited.”

Saints sophomore pitcher Raymond Moody, who clocked his fast ball in the 90s, is lost for the season due to injury, Helms said.

“That really hurt us,” he said about Moody. “We’ve got to create some extra pitching with some infielders.”

With the season ahead of the team, Helms said there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

“The true measure of this team is how it will handle failure,” he said. “Do we learn from our mistakes, or do we adjust to our failures and go on? We’re going to go through some tough times. How we adjust to the speed of the college game will dictate what we do this year.”

The Saints are competing in the ACCC Southern Conference with Bishop State, Wallace State-Dothan, Jefferson Davis, Faulkner State, Alabama Southern and Enterprise State.

LBWCC is No. 6 in the coaches preseason poll, Helms said.

“There are not expectations from us inside the league from the coaches poll,” he said. “We don’t have anywhere to go but up, which is good. We’re not used to being picked down there. It’s giong to be a challenge for our coaches and players. We’re excited about the challenge.”

Helms said he’s more proud of how hard the team has been working to get ready for Friday’s start.

“If we can keep from knocking too many holes in the boat and keep plugging them right now, then we’ll be competitive at the end,” he said.

The Saints also play in a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at noon.