YORK — With a roster of mostly sophomores and juniors, the York Comprehensive High School baseball team awaits the coming season with optimism and commitment.
The Cougars have played several scrimmage games with quality opponents as a means of fine-tuning the fundamentals of the game.
“We had a great off season,” said coach Scot Kiggans. “The kids are working hard to compete.”
Kiggans, a former West Virginia high school baseball standout who hurled a no-hitter in a playoff game that sent his team to the state championship game, played a lot of young players last season.
“A good many of our players gained valuable experience last season,” he said. “We look for the experience to show this season.”
Added Kiggans, “We have pitching depth; I feel good about that.”
The Cougars also produced at the plate against the Chapman Panthers in a recent scrimmage, which ended in a 6-6 deadlock.
“The scrimmages give us the opportunity to evaluate personnel and play a lot of kids,” Kiggans said.
Junior Ryan Gilbert, a third baseman who adds to the Cougars’ pitching depth, is pumped up for the coming season.
“We’re gonna shock some people this season,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert said he feels good about the team’s improvement. And he looks to make his presence felt on the mound this season.
“I use my fastball in spots and mix in the slider and curve,” he said of his pitching repertoire.
Adam Hoffman is a third-year player who plays second base. “The preseason has been good,” he said. “We’re working hard and have played well in our scrimmages.”
Hoffman said he is hitting the ball in the preseason, but wants to hit better when the regular season begins. “I want to do what I can to help the team,” he said.
John Moorefield is the Cougars’ sophomore shortstop, who was elevated to varsity status from the JV team last season.
Moorefield has hit the ball with authority from Dixie Minors to the high school varsity level, and this year is no different.
“I am confident that I can hit the ball when I step the plate,” he said. “Hitting has a lot to do with your mindset. You have to think in your mind that you can hit the ball.”
Moorefield feels good about this year’s team. “We’re gonna win more games this year,” he said.
The Cougars will play in the Chester Preseason tournament Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8.
The YCHS team begins region play March 11, hosting the Rock Hill Bearcats in a 7:15 p.m. game. The JV game starts at 5 p.m.