“Get better every day.”
It’s a mantra Wayne County Jets Blue head baseball coach Colton Chrisman emphasizes each time his team steps between the lines this season.
So far, it’s worked.
A youth-ladened squad that starts several eighth-graders, Wayne County cruised past the Garner Stars, 13-6, on Monday evening.
“Most of those young guys are on the field every night and we’re facing teams with juniors and seniors that are using [American] Legion players and we’re competing,” Chrisman said.
“So, hat’s off to my young guys. We’re going to make mistakes because we’re young. Hopefully, we learn from them and move on just like we did tonight.”
Tied at 3-3 through 3 1/2 innings, Wayne County plated a total of 10 runs in the fourth and sixth innings combined.
Eighth-graders Rhett Johnson (2 RBI) and Cameron Aycock (2 RBI) combined for three of Wayne County’s nine hits on the night. Meanwhile, a pair of sophomores - Ben Peacock and Tyler Horton - provided one hit and one RBI apiece.
Cooper Bryan batted 1-for-2.
Campbell Cunningham, a rising senior at Spring Creek, turned in a two-hit, one-RBI performance at the plate.
“We were aggressive again,” Chrisman said. “We preach about getting on base. We want to get the barrel on the baseball and that’s what the summer is about, getting better and we’re building confidence so when they go back to their high school teams they’re ready to ball out.”
Chrisman, as usual, pitched by committee.
Daniel Weeks started on the bump and allowed three earned runs on three hits. The rising junior at Eastern Wayne struck out four and walked three.
Cohen Waddell tossed two innings of no-hit relief. Bullpen mates Hunter Theriac, Alex Davis, Bryce Wirhouski and Cullen Tucker combined for three innings of four-hit, two-strikeout relief.
The Jets’ staff combined to throw 129 pitches.
“Some kids didn’t throw a pitch at all for their high school team [due to COVID-19],” Chrisman said. “And I don’t want to put too much pressure on their arms, so we’re keeping them at under 60. When they go out there and get in a tough spot, we know what kind of stress that you can put you in.
“We’ve got a load of pitchers down in that bullpen. They’re having a blast down there. If they’re ready to go in the game, we’re going to put them in again.”