Duplicating last year’s success will be a challenge for the Hornets, who entered the ’14 campaign with a less experienced roster after losing 10 seniors from their state runner-up squad.
With a 7-6 overall record and 2-1 mark in Region 5AAAAAA, Roswell coach Mike Power said his team is still trying to re-establish itself with its new lineup.
“Every year is a new year – trying to find an identity, just getting more consistent with what we’re doing,” Power said. “The effort’s been good – we just need to be more consistent. Those kids [on last year’s state runner-up] played really hard. Now, this year’s kids are trying to establish their own identity.”
Roswell started out slow with five losses in its first seven games, but has bounced back with five wins in its last six contests.
The Hornets are off to a strong start in their 5AAAAAA schedule last week, beating Etowah 2-1 in eight innings last Wednesday and then coming back from a 3-1 loss to Etowah last Thursday with a 4-1 win over Lassiter last Friday.
“I think our pitching has been pretty good,” Power said. “Pitching and defense have been pretty good, but our hitting has been inconsistent.”
Roswell faces the challenge of competing in a tough Region 5AAAAA that includes defending AAAAAA champion Milton as well as state semifinalist Walton and perennial contenders Lassiter and Etowah.
“It’s probably the best region in the state,” Power said. “Last year, three of the AAAAAA final four teams came from our region. You beat each other up all year, but the teams who get out of our region into the state playoffs – they’ve got a shot at winning [the state title]. That’s how good it is.”
Senior shortstop Jordan Hovater led the team in hitting as of last Friday with a .440 batting average, while junior catcher Matt Hammaker (.391, five doubles) and senior second baseman Colin McCaulley (.350) are the other leading hitters.
Junior pitcher Austin Krzeminski leads the way on the mound for the Hornets.
For Power, improving every day and getting all the pieces in place is the main focus for Roswell as it aims for another deep postseason run.
“We’ll have to see how we progress this year,” Power said.
“We started out similarly last year and we kept getting better and hopefully, this team will do the same.”