The Hillcrest High baseball team, having faced ups and downs during the past two years, has the following motto in 2013: “Be the changed.”
“We wanted a fresh start this year,” said Rams coach Dru Mahoney. “We have struggled over the past two years. We hope to see some good results and improve this season.”
Mahoney already has seen improvement from his pitching staff.
“Our pitchers have cut the team ERA in half compared to the team’s ERA over the last two years,” Mahoney said. “Assistant coach Kaleb Stone has invested a lot of time in them, and they have responded well.”
Avery Mahon and Ki-jana Madden, who signed with Newberry College and College of Charleston, respectively, headline the Rams’ starting rotation. Alex Fowler, Braden Sloan, Cole McClintock, John Coleman, Tre Watts and Travis Pitts round out the staff.
“Our pitchers have taken the struggles personally,” Mahoney said. “It is good to see them accept the challenge and want to make a difference.”
Senior Zach Maxwell starts in right field. Freshman Collin Camerato starts in left field, and Devin Ciufo, one of the Rams’ fastest players, and covers center field.
Landon Sayegh starts at first base, and senior Jonathan McCuen solidifies the defense at second.
Madden starts at shortstop when he is not pitching. Mahon plays beside Madden at third base when he is not pitching.
Mahoney describes Tre Watts as a “utility player” who can fill in at multiple positions.
“We’ve played against some extremely good competition over the past couple of years,” Mahoney said. “Good competition can only make you better.
“We’ve been at the top in the past. … We are guiding and leading them as a coaching staff the best that we can. Our goal is to get back in the playoffs where Hillcrest is used to being.”