This isn’t the way Madison County’s newly-minted varsity baseball players and few remaining veterans wanted to start 2010.
The Red Raiders, who lost seven seniors off last year’s 21-win team, are 0-2 after losing handily to Alcovy 9-0 (Feb. 24) and Jefferson 9-2 (Feb. 25) at home.
Coach Charlie Griffeth said there’s a lot of growing left to do.
“Yeah, I think that part of it is getting their feet wet and the feel of, ‘This is not a happy-go-lucky JV game anymore,’” Griffeth said.
Madison County is managing a lot of self-inflicted wounds right now.
Counting a Feb. 18 scrimmage game with Hart County, Madison County has issued 30 walks this year, which have led to 21 runs.
And Griffeth noted that opponents are scoring with two outs much too frequently.
“It’s been kind of like, what can go wrong, will go wrong,” Griffeth said.
Madison County continues with its six-game non-region slate this week, hoping to get better by next Wednesday (March 10) when it starts region play.
Madison County has a road rematch with Jefferson (Thursday), a make-up game with Stephens County (Friday) on the road, a home game against powerhouse Brookwood (Saturday) and a home rematch with Stephens County (Monday).
“It’s six tough ones,” Griffeth said of the entire non-region schedule. “It’s as tough as three-fourth of the region schedule teams, but it’s good preparation.”
“You learn from playing good people,” Griffeth added.
Madison County’s young roster gets no relief once region play starts with Heritage, Salem and Loganville first up on the 8-AAAA schedule.
So, for Madison County’s young players, the trial by fire will continue.
“It’s like every game is an audition,” Griffeth said.
But Griffeth notes that there are plenty of chances to get better.
“That’s the good thing about baseball,” he said. “You don’t have a week off to sit there and think about. You’ve got to get right back out there.”
NOTES: Against Alcovy, Matt Dean went 2-for-3 and Haden Martin was 2-for-2.
Madison County managed just three hits against Jefferson. Bracken Turner had a double and Matthew Robinson and Kyle Dean had singles. The Dragons led Madison County 4-2 after five innings but broke the game open with five runs in the sixth.