North Adams falls to Southeastern in 2018 opener –
By Mark Carpenter –
After an 11-11 season in 2017 that ended in a loss to Portsmouth West in the sectional finals, Coach Rob Meade and his North Adams Green Devils baseball squad will bring an experienced and versatile group into the upcoming season. Though the 2018 season opened with a loss to Southeastern on March 26, the Devils will still be looking to make their mark in what Coach Meade calls a “balanced Southern Hills Athletic Conference.”
With the always unpredictable spring weather in southern Ohio, a team’s fortunes will rest on the number of quality arms on their pitching staff and the Green Devils will bring some pitching depth into the spring. According to Coach Meade, the 1-2 guys will be Ryan Shupert and Bryant Lung, and the rest of the staff will consist of Tyler Horsley, Colt Shumaker, Elijah Young, along with sophomores Ethan Thompson, Dalton Gardner, and Zach Osborne.
The multi-talented Lung, who has already committed to play next year at Ohio Christian will play a big role in any North Adams success. “Bryant will be a key for us offensively and defensively,” says Coach Meade. “He has established himself as one of the better catchers in the area but we will count on him to fill other spots as well, We will definitely look for his run production at the plate.”
“Defense will be a huge determining factor in the amount of success we have,” Meade continued. “Our pitchers are not going to overpower people and we will have to pitch to contact. We have experience returning at several positions and have some kids that will play various positions. Horsley will be at third when he isn’t pitching, Young will be at shortstop but can also fill in behind the plate, Noah Lung and Shupert will handle first base, Shumaker will be in center field with Layne Williams filling one of the corner outfield spots.”
“Thompson, Gardner, Osborne, and Michael Gill will likely platoon at the other outfield spots. Whoever is wherever, we have to make the routine plays and play fundamentally sound baseball.”
The Devils also have the luxury of having 33 boys in their high school baseball program, which allows them to field a full JV squad, coached by Rob Davis.
In the early part of the season, the Green Devils might be forced to take their show on the road more often because of delays in building new dugouts at their home field in Seaman. The first of those road trips came on Monday when the faced the Southeastern Panthers on a neutral field at the VA Stadium in Chillicothe. The Devils fell behind in the first inning and a late comeback fell short as they fell to the Panthers 8-5.
Southeastern picked up two runs off of North Adams starter Ryan Shupert in the bottom of the first, and the Devils answered with one in the top of the second on a run-scoring base hit by Shumaker. The Panthers got one in their half of the third to make it 3-1 and it remained that score until Southeastern came to bat in the bottom of the fifth.
A five-run outburst, fueled by a grand slam home run, by the Panthers chased Shupert from the mound, with southpaw Noah Lung coming on to record the final out. Now trailing 8-1, the Devils began to rally with two in the top of the sixth. Bryant Lung singled, followed by a walk to Horsley. After the next two batters were retired, a base hit by Williams scored Lung and Horsley came home later on a throwing error by the Southeastern catcher.
After reliever Ethan Thompson blanked the Panthers in the bottom of the sixth, the Devils had one more at-bat to try and make up a five-run deficit. Shupert reached on an error and one out later, Bryant Lung singled to center. Horsley then banged a double to center, scoring two to make it 8-5, but that was all the Devils could muster as they dropped their season opener.
“I was pleased with the way we battled after falling behind,” said Coach Meade. “We had a couple of breakdowns on defense that gave them easy runs. I thought Ryan (Shupert) threw the ball well and we got solid relief pitching from Noah (lung) and Ethan (Thompson).”
Our approach at the plate was good for the most par. I think production from the top of our lineup is going to be crucial to our future success.”
With the rainfall constant most of this week, the Green Devils have not been in competition again, and are scheduled to play Whiteoak on Monday, April 2, with the site of that game still to be determined at press time.
N. Adams Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Shupert 4-1-0-0, Young 4-0-0-0, B. Lung 4-2-2-0, Horsley 2-2-1-2, Gardner 4-0-1-0, N. Lung 2-0-0-0, C. Meade 1-0-0-0, Williams 3-0-1-1, Thompson 1-0-1-0, Shumaker 1-0-1-1, Osborne 1-0-0-0, Team 27-5-7-4.
Extra-Base Hits: Horsley 2B
Southeastern Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Hartman 4-2-3-1, Gilliam 3-2-2-1, Stauffer 3-1-1-1, Thompson 2-0-0-0, Chenault 2-1-0-0, Wheeler 3-1-1-4, Ford 3-0-0-0, Minney 2-0-0-0, Carroll 1-0-0-0, Chaffin 3-1-1-0, Team 26-8-8-7
Extra-Base Hits: Hartman 3B, Wheeler HR
N. Adams Pitching:
Shupert (L) 4.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 89 pitches
N. Lung 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 6 pitches
Thompson 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 10 pitches
Hartman (W) 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 91 pitches
Chenault (S) 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 11 pitches