After graduating six seniors, the CCHS baseball team has some slots to fill. With about half the team comprised of returning players, nearly half are new players coming in from the middle school program. The summer program allows these incoming freshmen a chance to play high school baseball where the arrangement is always two 5-inning baseball games against local high school teams.
On May 30, CCHS played host to Gibbs High. Tate McGhee got the starting nod, and the incoming sophomore threw to one of the new faces, catcher Jared Ruan.
Ruan’s debut did not disappoint, as he threw out three of four base runners and also played second and centerfield. Ruan went 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a double. He handled five chances without an error. Gibbs was held in check the first two innings, as was CCHS. In the third, Gibbs touched McGhee for four runs, and Coach Brad Collette replaced McGhee with Hunter Scott, who will be a senior on next year’s squad. Scott stopped the bleeding and pitched the final three innings without giving up a run. In the bottom of the third, CCHS answered Gibbs when Brandon Miller walked, Ben Bostic reached on a fielder’s choice, Logan Orick walked, and Tucker Cain loaded the bases with a single.
Ruan plated a run on a ground out before Bo Farris ripped a single to score Orick and put Cain on third. With first and third, Cain stole home to make the score 4-3. CCHS threatened to score in the fourth when Andrew Evans and Scott both singled, but the Cougars were not able to get a runner home and ended up losing, 4-3.
In the nightcap, Collette went with a new incoming freshman, Duncan Pence, to pitch, and the young man went three innings without giving up a hit, walked one and struck out four batters. Gibbs scored one unearned run. CCHS erupted for six runs in the first inning. Conner Pinkard singled and Farris walked before Pence ripped the first pitch he saw to the left field wall for a two- RBI triple.
Joseph Williams drove in Pence with a single. Ruan singled, and, with two out, Scott ripped a double to drive in Williams. Jacob Monday walked before Cain drove in two with a single. CCHS scored again in the second when Pence walked and then scored on a double by Williams. In the third inning, CCHS added four more. With two outs, Cain singled, Pinkard walked and Farris drove in Cain by reaching on an error. Pence drove in his third run with a double. Williams drove in two with a single, giving him four RBI on the night. Incoming sophomore Andrew Evans took the mound in the fourth and pitched the last two innings, giving up one hit, one run, and striking out three batters to earn the save. CCHS won, 11-2.