By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Sherando's baseball team hasn't started the season quite like they have wanted to and a big part of the reason has been the Warriors' defense.
In all four of their losses, errors have played a big part.
Sherando (4-4) averaged four errors a game in the first four contests, three of which were losses. Then the Warriors won three in a row, playing mostly error-free baseball.
In a 7-1 loss to Millbrook on Thursday, the Warriors committed four errors.
"We're not talented enough to give another team, particularly a good team, that many extra outs and expect to be successful," Sherando coach Pepper Martin said after Thursday's loss. "The effort was there, but the execution was not."
One bright spot for the Warriors on Thursday was the return of senior Reid Entsminger to the outfield. The center fielder had been used as only a designated hitter since the second game of the season due to tendonitis in his elbow.
Entsminger said he practiced in the outfield for the first time on Wednesday, and was excited to be back playing in the field.
"[Thursday] it felt like I had never left," Entsminger said after Thursday's loss. "It's nice to be back out there, just playing your position and having fun.
"It was nice just to hit, but you get bored on the bench. I enjoy being out there on every play."
ON THE RISE: Warren County has recovered nicely from a slow start.
The Wildcats have won four games in a row, and are now 5-5 on the season.
One big difference for Warren County has been its hitting. Warren County has scored a combined 32 runs in its last four contests.
In the first four games of the season, the Wildcats managed a combined two runs.
Austin King has led the way. The junior is hitting .407 (11-for-27) for the season. Senior Jontae Rollins is also having a solid season hitting .321 (9-for-28) with nine RBIs.
The one consistent for the Wildcats all season has been their pitching. The trio of John Reith, King and Baker have been a strong starting core for the team.
Reith is 3-0 with a 0.30 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 23.2 innings of work. King has a 1-3 record, but has an ERA of 4.49 and has struck out 16 in 18.2 innings. Baker is 1-1 in 11.2 innings.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Skyline has had its share of struggles this season, but the Hawks are hoping they have turned a corner.
The Hawks (4-7) snapped a six-game losing streak earlier this week with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over John Champe on Monday.
Skyline showed some real resiliency after trailing 6-3 in the sixth inning.
"They didn't let a couple runs change their outlook at the game," Barnes said after the game. "They kept pushing hard and they kept playing with intensity, and it worked out for us."
In the win, pinch hitter Brandon Walters came up with a clutch two-run double to help tie the game, and then Robby Belanger hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh.
Barnes and the rest of the team believe that kind of fighting spirit will help turn the season around for the Hawks.
"We've been working hard," Walters said. "If we keep pushing the way that we do, we shouldn't have a problem."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org