Prior to playing Douglas County, first-year head coach Chad Tittle said things had been going well with preseason conditioning and practices, despite one uncontrollable setback.
“It’s gone well and we’re getting lots of participation. The first couple weeks went well, then the weather kind of messed us up, but the kids are really energetic about the season,” said Tittle.
The Hornets open their season by hosting Chapel Hill Tuesday.
Tittle began coaching in the Paulding County School District in 2008 as the head baseball coach at Paulding County High where he stayed for three seasons. In the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Tittle was an assistant coach at North Paulding.
“I got an opportunity to be closer to home and be a head coach again, plus I knew a lot about the program and was more than excited to come,” Tittle said.
Tittle also said the administration at Hiram is “very supportive” of the program and that makes working for the Hornets even better.
This season, the Hornets return five of their starters from last year. While Tittle has not had very long to get to know the players, he was still able to name the team’s most notable returners for this season – juniors Blake Cairnes and Thomas Gaines and senior Jordan Lester.
Cairnes rotates between the pitcher’s mound and the infield.
“He plays multiple spots and is a true baseball guy to the core. He provides our pep and is a real ace up on the hill,” said Tittle.
Gaines is the catcher for Hiram and Tittle said he leads by example, as well as vocally, and makes sure the team is doing the right thing from behind the plate.
Lester rotates between third base and the pitcher’s mound where Tittle said he does a “quality job” for the team to add to his batting skills.
Though the real competition has yet to begin, Tittle said he is optimistic about his new team and how they will perform this season.
“I feel like the sky’s the limit. If we play to our potential, we can compete with anyone in our classification. But it all depends on us working hard every day,” said Tittle.