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Local News and Views From Area Teams & Athletes

Middle school adds baseball to sports offered

Students at Braxton County Middle School have an additional choice of sport this season, as baseball is being offered for the first time in the school’s history. Blake Baldwin will coach the team, and Bryan Cox is the assistant coach.
The season opens for the Knights Friday as they take on Clay Middle School at the high school field at Holly Gray. According to Coach Cox, 19 players make up the team, and most of them have played together for several years. Cox explained that they were originally going to take just 15 players but decided to keep 19 and create a junior varsity team. That decision seems to be working well since most of the teams on their schedule also have jv teams.
Cox was actually the one who originally pursued the idea of a middle-school baseball team. “I talked to the athletic director, Keith Greene, and he seemed interested. Then, when Mickey Skeens came aboard, we talked to him. They were excited about it,” he said.
The assistant coach continued to explain that he talked to Baldwin, with whom he had coached in Little League, and asked him if he would be interested in coaching the team. “He was, so we took the idea to the board of education in late January or early February, and they approved it unanimously,” he explained.
Cox said the team’s strengths seem to be in pitching and hitting and added, “We have some power hitters.” Right now, he noted, defense is something of a problem because the players are having to adjust from playing on a Little League field to the regulation high school field.
Although the coaches are still “trying to feel everyone out to see where they fit,” they have determined they have four pitchers and four possible catchers. Those who should see time on the mound include Tyler Baldwin, Beau Liston, Isaiah Mowery, and Adam Dobbins. “These are the top four prospects,” Cox said. “There may be others.”
The catcher will probably come from a group which includes A.J. Copenhaver, Nathan Abraham, Cadence Miller, and Jesse Flint.
The Knights did scrimmage against East Bank and Sherman Middle Schools Saturday. They lost the first game and were tied 9-9 in the second when they ran out of time.

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