WAP Titans still on track for state title run

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 19, 2004

It’s no surprise for West Alabama Prep head baseball coach Walker Reynolds that his Titans are off to a 5-7 start this season, for it’s been this way almost every year for the Titans, but the time for the Titans seasonal shift is nearing.

The WAP Titans have historically started their baseball season with a laid back mentality to the game throughout the first part of the season, but once the team returns from their week long beach party at spring break, Reynolds declares play time to be officially over with.

“I generally don’t get to worked up about things until after they have returned from spring break,” Reynolds said.

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“I usually allow them this time to enjoy the game and have fun out there before we turn up the volume and really start playing baseball.”

After placing third in the state last year in the AISA playoffs, the Titans are looking to claim their stake in another run at a AISA Class A state championship and reclaim the trophy they last held in 2002.

But in order to do that, the Titans will have to return from spring break ready to get to work. Thus far it has been the Titans defense that has allowed for such low numbers in the winning column.

“Our defense has been really struggling this season, but it’s still early and I am confident that after we return from the break we will pick it up defensively,” Reynolds said.

One area that the Titans have not been struggling this season is on the hill. The Titans have looked impressive on the mound with senior lefty Kevin May, senior Shayne Hilchey and sophomore lefty Nick Laduron.

May (3-1) is a crafty left-hander with good mechanics and impressive motion. The 6’1″ 160 pound senior has a nice and smooth delivery along with the potential of throwing with impressive speed.

Hilchey (0-2) has been impressive in his first two performances on the mound, but has yet to get a win. But Reynolds likes what he has seen from the right-hander and believes that Hilchey is a competitor and offers great balance and depth to the Titans bullpen.

Laduron (1-2) is new to the Titans lineup this season, but has already caught the attention of Reynolds. The lefty sophomore adds a great deal of promise to the Titans bullpen this season and could be a major contributor down the road.

“I have a lot of confidence in our pitching this season,” Reynolds said.

“There is plenty of depth and a great balance of lefties and righties.”

Though the Titans have lost seven games this season, none where to any pushovers. In fact, two of the seven losses came at the hands of the Class AAA Faith Academy Rams, who have won as many as 12 state championships and is considered the most dominant baseball team in the AISA.

Friday marks the beginning of the Titans eighth annual West Alabama Prep Baseball Tournament and last four games of the first part of the season. The tournament, which will welcome as many as ten AISA teams to Demopolis over two days, will begin on Friday with each of the ten teams playing two games apiece and continue into Saturday with the same format.

The Titans will face Southern Academy at 11 a.m. on Friday and Pickens Academy at 7 p.m. On Saturday the Titans will look to better their 5-7 record with two games against the Springwood School at 11 a.m. and Sumter Academy at 7 p.m.