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Saturday, March 16, 2013
The season couldn't have gotten off to a better start for the Fox Creek High School varsity baseball team.
The Predators are undefeated (7-0, 2-0 Region 4-A) and also won the Midland Valley Invitational Tournament.
"It's really been kind of a team effort," Fox Creek head coach Wesley Brown said. "Probably the biggest surprise for us this year is Terrance Hilary. He was kind of a guy who was a sub off the bench, and he's stepped in and worked his way to the leadoff spot. He's going 2-for-3 or 3-for-4 each game and hitting .550 for us. A lot of people will say his numbers are construed, but that's against AA and AAA teams."
Another strong player for the Predators has been Dalton Swires. The freshman was named tournament MVP after picking up the win against Midland Valley in the finals. At the plate, he went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.
"He's been in our closing role a bit as a pitcher," Brown said. "But he also got some big hits in the championship."
Brown points to Caleb Cox, a senior, as one of the leaders of the team. Cox also seems to have a knack for clutch hitting."He's come up with some huge hits at certain times," Brown said.
Though the offense has clicked early on, the Predators also have been buoyed by some strong pitching performances.
"That's definitely something we have this year that we didn't have last year," Brown said. "Our pitching staff is a lot deeper. We've got Michael Hill, a USC Aiken commit, up there throwing 86, 87 mph. That came from nowhere and he's worked his butt off in the weight room."
The new weight program is a major perk that Brown credits for his team's success.
"It's the first year that we've had a weight training program for baseball, and it has really paid dividends to this point," he said.
Fox Creek's week will start with a game that was to have happened on Tuesday night at Ridge Spring-Monetta. The Predators will be at home against Wagener-Salley on Friday before heading on the road once again on Monday at Abbeville.
"One of the biggest things is that our defense has made a lot of plays," Brown said. "We've also limited the amount of strikeouts we've had at the plate. I'm not going to say we've close to peaked out because we're not striking out a lot, and we're putting the ball in play. We've capitalized on other team's mistakes and kept the pressure on them, and hopefully we can keep that rolling."