CHS baseball achieves goals
Published 6:14 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2016
A young Central High School varsity baseball team met a couple of key goals this year that it can take satisfaction in despite a disappointing season-ending loss to Windsor High School in the regional quarterfinals.
The sixth-seeded Chargers fell 9-6 to host and third-seeded Windsor after a walk-off three-run home run in the eighth inning on May 30.
“We led the game the whole way, and we were in the lead going in the bottom of the seventh inning, and we just couldn’t close the deal,” Central Head Coach Michael Atkins said. “To be as young as we were in that kind of situation, we were disappointed we didn’t finish it, we didn’t close that game out and move on. … they’ll learn from that, and they’ll be even stronger in that situation next year, I’m sure, because they’ve had this memory to build on.”
The Chargers finished the season with a record of 13-9.
Atkins also said his team had the goal of achieving 12 wins this season and was pleased to surpass that.
“The 13 wins were more wins than the program has had in quite some time,” he said.
The Chargers have seen their winning percentage rise in Atkins’ three years as head coach.
Central earned the No. 1 seed in the Conference 42 Tournament and had nine players receive all-conference selections.
“To have nine guys off the team make first or second team all-conference says a lot about the … kind of season that they had as a team, so I was really proud of that,” Atkins said.
Chargers senior outfielder Joshua Paynter was named conference baseball Player of the Year.
For the regular season, Paynter had a .459 batting average, a .541 on base percentage, a .656 slugging percentage and a .976 fielding percentage. He produced seven doubles, one triple, one home run, 19 RBI and he scored 21 runs.
Joining him on the all-conference first team were sophomore pitcher Ethan Hoover, sophomore pitcher Christian Hall, sophomore outfielder Michael Goodwin Jr. and sophomore third baseman Nate Nowlin.
Hoover also made the second team as a first baseman. Central players making the second team along with him was junior outfielder Malik Foster, sophomore shortstop L.J. Watson, junior catcher Chris Fowler and junior pitcher Chandler Childress.