Mitchell’s Eagles looking for consistency in season

By Austin Bishop
Webster Progress Times

Eupora High School baseball coach Brad Mitchell says his team’s
formula for success this season is really a pretty simple equation:
throw strikes, play solid defense, and scratch out as many runs as
possible.

“We are not going to rely on the Ron Polk formula of hitting a three-
run homer,” said Mitchell, referring to the former Mississippi State
baseball coach. “We are a fairly young, inexperienced team. We don’t
have a lot of power, so we are going to have to do some things to get
as many runs as we can.”

And while the EHS pitching staff may not strike out a dozen batters
every night, Mitchell said there are things they can do to help give
them a chance to win.

“We are just going to have to pound the (strike) zone with strikes
and make the plays behind them,” said Mitchell, who comes to EHS
after a six-year stint as head coach at Ackerman High School. “Down
the road I think the pitching staff can become more dominant. I’m
really impressed with them and they have been working hard.”

Rusty Johnson, Brett Chapman and Trey PIttman will do most of the
heavy lifting on the mound for the Eagles, at least in the early
going as the staff is getting developed.

Johnson, a sophomore, has been starting for EHS since his eighth
grade year and will be counted on heavily both on the mound and at
shortstop.

“We have six juniors and seniors combined, everybody else is either a
freshman or sophomore,” said Mitchell. “We are just young.”
That young team will have a formidable task in district play as they
will have to contend with the likes of East Webster, Ackerman,
Madison St. Joe, Pisgah and Leake County.

Cody Hatcher will get the nod behind the plate for EHS, while Justin
Newton is at first, Lawson Stewart at second, Will Bowen at third and
either Johnson or Chapman at shortstop.

The outfield will be made up of Pittman in left, James Embry in
center and Drew Gray in right.

The Eagles opened the season last Friday with a 4-2 loss to Winona.
Next up for Eupora is the Winona Tournament on Friday, where the
Eagles will take on French Camp Academy at 5 p.m., followed by a home
match up with Calhoun City on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.