|2008 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS...
Expectations continue to be high as the Buccaneer roster is full of talented and experienced players.
Covington baseball coach Mitch Hirsch is getting accustom to high expectations for his baseball program after several successful season over the past few years. That's because the Buccs continue to reload in spite of graduation losses and have had the luxury of solid pitching - something coaches from small school programs dream about.
"Our pitching will be pretty good," said Hirsch. "I'd take my top three guys any day of the week. Moss, Sparks and Thobe are three solid pitchers. Kanet is right in there as well."
The Buccs have been fortunate to be able to mix it up over the years with right handers and left handers, but this year will be different as there are not lefties to go to.
"I'm not too concerned about that," Hirsch said. "Sure, it's nice to have a lefty you can throw in there, but what we have four guys who throw hard."
Where Covington will have to win games, however, is at the plate.
"If we swing the bat well, we'll win a lot of ball games," Hirsch explained. "That's going to be the key for us."
As it has been in the past as the Buccs have been inconsistent at the plate in big games. It cost Covington in the tournament as Lehman shocked Covington the past two years. Both times it was because the Buccs couldn't capitalize with runners in scoring position.
"We didn't swing the ball well at all in those games," Hirsch explained. "It came down to killer instinct. Playing with emotion. Having passion for the game. We have to have that in order to be successful."
The Buccs haven't been able to get outside and swing the bats much this spring due to the weather conditions, so Hirsch really won't know what he has in offense until the season begins.
"We're swinging the bat well in the gym, but you can't get a feel for what you have until you get on the field," he said. "We'll find out soon enough."
That answer will likely determine the success of the 2008 Buccaneers.