by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Lancaster’s baseball future is looking bright, according to junior varsity coach Will Barrack.
The JV Devils, although off to a 2-3 start, includes nine eighth graders, making for a very young team, even at the JV level.
“I tell the guys all the time, don’t think in terms of wins and losses,” said Barrack. “What they’re gaining is experience and they’re learning a lot by playing older opponents.”
Outfielder Dakotah George is the team’s only sophomore. The freshmen returners include pitcher/third baseman Tate Wilmore, second baseman Berkeley Kellum and outfielders Eric Darrell and Tristan McDaniels. The rest are eighth grade newcomers. Most played middle school ball last year and the majority have grown up playing Little League and travel ball together.
“One of our big assets is they’ve played together for a long time, so we have good chemistry,” said Barrack.
He and assistant coach Zac Stevens, have a coaching staff of six, including Wilmore and eighth graders Eli Pittman, Sean Thomas, Ben Pittman, Gavyn Hathaway and Jonathan Lee.
“We have the strongest pitching staff we’ve had in a while,” said Barrack, who begins his third year as head coach and fifth year with the team. “I don’t remember us having six pitchers. It’s been a long time.”
When Hathaway’s not pitching, he’ll catch. When E. Pittman, Thomas and Lee aren’t on the mound, they’ll play in the infield and when B. Pittman isn’t pitching, he’ll play outfield.
DJ Zeiler will catch and play in the outfield and Ethan Haskiell and Dakotah George will play in the outfield. Kelvin Davis is an all-around player but will usually play first when E. Pittman is pitching.
“Even though this is the youngest team I’ve had since I’ve been coaching, we have a lot of potential,” said Barrack. “They’re a scrappy, young group and they get pretty fired up during the games.”
The JV Devils will host Essex today, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. and travel to Colonial Beach next Tuesday, April 16.
April 11 Essex
April 16 at Colonial Beach
April 18 at Washington & Lee
April 23 at Northumberland
April 24 Rappahannock
April 30 at Essex
May 2 Colonial Beach
May 7 Washington & Lee
May 9 Northumberland