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Raiders baseball team building strength
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
March 19, 2014 11:38 AM | 1211 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>East Paulding’s Jackson Patrick waits for a pitch in the batting cage during practice last week.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
East Paulding’s Jackson Patrick waits for a pitch in the batting cage during practice last week.
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Since 2002, the East Paulding baseball team has made the state playoffs nine times, including the past two seasons, and produced numerous top-flight players such as current New York Mets’ pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Last season, the Raiders won the Region 5-AAAAA championship on their way to a 26-win season and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. The Raiders have opened this season with an inexperienced squad that has approached a .500 record but the coaching staff remains optimistic.

“We’ve played some good teams and have some kids that played last season but don’t have a lot of experience,” eighth-year head coach Tony Boyd said. “We haven’t played our best this year and we’ll keep improving, hopefully to be ready for games that are important later in the season.”

East Paulding has utilized the services of four-year starter Mitchell Webb who plays third base and pitches for the squad.

“Mitchell has done a good job for us and is a big leader for the team,” Boyd said.

Senior Jackson Patrick also serves as a valuable two-way player for the Raiders as a pitcher and infielder.

The starting outfield consists of Cameron Hughes, Mitch White and sophomore centerfielder Holden Thompson, who Boyd notes is a strong athlete.

Webb and White lead the pitching staff along with junior Price Delancey, sophomore Nate Butterworth and Thompson.

Boyd added that “we’ll have to become more consistent, especially at the plate, because we’ll take a lot of pitches but need to be more aggressive to become a better offensive team.”

Despite the early losses for East Paulding this season, the program still stands as one of the strongest in Paulding County and the state.

“Our kids work hard and believe in the tradition of success,” Boyd stated. “We expect to win and I’ve certainly been blessed to be here with good players who do it the right way. It’s exciting for our community.”

The Raiders return to action on Friday at Allatoona.

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