Bobcats ready for ‘13

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Opp coach Michael Cassady (left) takes time during a base-running drill Monday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp coach Michael Cassady (left) takes time during a base-running drill Monday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp fans will get the chance to see what the Bobcats varsity baseball team looks like today in their season opener at Brantley.

The Bobcats enter the 2013 season with a squad of 17 players — five seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores who were pulled up from junior varsity.

Last season, OHS finished in the second round, where it lost to Bayside Academy in Daphne.

Leading up to today’s opener, the Bobcats have been practicing not only on the baseball field, but in the school’s new building, where they have been hitting and throwing, OHS head baseball coach Michael Cassady said.

“We’re very fortunate in that (having the new building),” Cassady said. “We had some decent weather until this last week because of rain. Where a lot of schools were telling them to go home or practice in the gym, we’ve got this new building up here we can hit and throw in.

“We’ve been in it four about four days,” he said. “We got to scrimmage Friday for about 10 innings and we got to scrimmage (Sunday) on the field. So, we’ve got a little bit of live hitting and pitching in.”

Like last year, 2013 will depend on pitching, Cassady said.

However, the Bobcats took a big blow to the gut because their two best pitchers — Russell Mosley (labrum tear) and Brady Jowers — are out either for the entire or most of the season. Mosley is out for the entire season. Jowers will return in April.

“That’s going to be a spot that we’re going to have to fill,” Cassady said.

On the infield, Opp will have two new faces at the short stop and second base positions, the coach said.

In the outfield, the Bobcats will have two of their starters return to the grass.

“Hitting wise, we lost a lot of hitting,” Cassady said. “We’ve got some kids who are still good.”

Cassady said Dakota King and Ethan Davis, juniors, competed and finished well in the Wiregrass High School Home Run Derby, which was held on Feb. 9.

“We’re excited about that,” he said.

In area play this season, the Bobcats will compete in Class 3A, Area 2 with Southside Selma, Excel and Straughn.

OHS faces Southside first, followed by Excel and finishes with Straughn on the area schedule this season.

“Excel’s known to be a good baseball team,” Cassady said. “Straughn (who split with OHS last year) has a lot of kids back.

“It’s a tough area,” he said. “That’s our goal — to make it to the post season and get out of the second round of the playoffs — which we hadn’t been out of the last two years.”

After Brantley today, the Bobcats travel to face Flomaton at W.S. Neal in Brewton on Thursday. Then on Friday, OHS will play Monroe County and Northview, Fla., in a doubleheader at WSN.

Next weekend, the Bobcats will travel to Leroy to play in the Tombigbee Classic against Beauregard, Washington County and Leroy.

“We’ll find out what kind of character we have and what kind of team we’ve got in these next two weeks,” Cassady said.

Opp’s first home game is slated for March 11, against Slocomb.