49.7 F

Oxford Chargers Add Versatility, Depth to 2020 Baseball Roster

By Jared Redding
Hottytoddy.com intern

The 2020 Oxford High School baseball team is looking to pick up where it left off in last season’s 6A playoffs. Before the Chargers get there, they’ll have to take on a schedule full of new and challenging opponents, including their Feb. 20 matchup against the Clinton Arrows at BNA Park in New Albany.

Edwin Moak Field, home of the Oxford High School baseball team. Photo courtesy of Jared Redding. 

The majority of this year’s squad stood in the dugout last season when the young Chargers fell to eventual 6A state champion DeSoto Central 8-4 in the third round of the playoffs, a game that ended their season. The team finished 20-12 in 2019.

The good news: this team is more prepared and has matured since last season, according to OHS baseball head coach Chris Baughman.

“I definitely thought we were playing well at the end of the year,” Baughman said. “I felt like we gained a lot of confidence, not only through the course of the year but even in that DeSoto Central series. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we all left feeling like we put our best foot forward by giving them a tough out. We’re a year older now.”

It is a roster that’s not only more experienced but can get the job done wherever they are placed on the field, according to assistant coach Daniel Parrish.

“We definitely have a versatile roster who can play numerous positions,” Parrish said. “We’ve had teams in the past that were absolutely talented. As far as versatility and depth, I think this is one of the more deep teams we’ve had.”

That includes two members of the pitching staff that excelled in 2019.

Owen Bruce finished last season 8-0 as a starter and had a 1.72 ERA. As a senior, his development of curveball and changeup pitches, alongside being a well-rounded leader, is a goal for 2020.

“It’s about showing your younger guys how to handle themselves and compete. I remember when I was a freshman, there were a few people who treated us great and were willing to teach us and get us better,” Bruce said.

Hays Roth is also a valuable asset on the mound. The junior was 7-2 with a 1.83 ERA last season. Despite throwing low to mid 80 mph pitches, his intelligence and pitch control will once again be key for this season’s success.

“[Roth] is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached, on and off the field,” Baughman said. “He knows how to throw good pitches…he throws strikes and has great command of four pitches. The way he pitches gives hitters fits. You can’t barrel up any balls against him. He’s not going to strike out 10 batters a game, but he’s only going to give up two or three runs a game.”

Eli Wicker will also provide another top option at pitcher, as well as the infield depending on the defensive lineup, according to Baughman.

In the infield, Ty Wicker is expected to start at shortstop this season after relieving injured senior Bo Gatlin last season. Carson Gentry is expected to see significant playing time at catcher after previously going down with an injury. Avery Robertson is another probable infield option after transferring from Briarcrest Christian School over Christmas break.

The outfield is one of the deepest groups in recent memory, according to Parrish. University of Louisiana signee Sam Bianco will anchor the group at centerfield with Lock Elliot and a handful of others fighting for playing time.

The batting line-up will remain a question mark until spots are solidified on a consistent basis, according to Baughman.

“We have some guys who can hit behind that three spot,” Baughman said. “We’re going to be really heavy with the lefties…the lineup is going to be changed a lot because I feel like we have a lot of kids who can play until someone really gets hot.”

The Chargers were given a new batch of region opponents this season that included Southaven, Hernando and Horn Lake. All three of them represent DeSoto County, which has been proven to be a force in 6A baseball, according to Baughman.

“When you talk about DeSoto County, you know they produce good baseball,” Baughman said. “In 6A as a whole, you know everybody is talented. You have to take advantage of opportunities offensively and produce runs. You have to play good defense too. When you do those things, you’ll be one of the best teams in the division, as well as the playoffs.”

Thursday night at 7 p.m. will begin Baughman’s 10th year as head coach of the Chargers. Like most of the previous decade, the players continue to keep him going.

“I have more gray hair and less hair in total. They keep me young though,” Baughman said.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Most Popular

Recent Comments

scamasdscamith on News Watch Ole Miss
Frances Phillips on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Grace Hudditon on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Millie Johnston on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Binary options + Bitcoin = $ 1643 per week: https://8000-usd-per-day.blogspot.com.tr?b=46 on Beta Upsilon Chi: A Christian Brotherhood
Jay Mitchell on Reflections: The Square
Terry Wilcox SFCV USA RET on Oxford's Five Guys Announces Opening Date
Stephanie on Throwback Summer
organized religion is mans downfall on VP of Palmer Home Devotes Life to Finding Homes for Children
Paige Williams on Boyer: Best 10 Books of 2018
Keith mansel on Cleveland On Medgar Evans
Donna and Jimmy Fontenot on