By Scott Richards
Entering into a new conference proved to more difficult for the Caroline High School Cavaliers varsity baseball team than many may have realized, but Coach Frank Dow and the Cavaliers showed that they can be competitive, ending the inaugural season in the Conference 20 with a 13-8 record.
Hanover High School proved to be the toughest opponent for Caroline, which lost to the Hawks both in the regular season (12-1) and the conference playoffs (13-1). Richmond teams Glen Allen and Midlothian also proved to be difficult foes as the Cavaliers dropped games to each of them. Only J.R. Tucker provided Caroline with a win, 11-1, in the playoffs after losing to the Tigers in an 11-1 home defeat.
Perennial Battlefield District rivalries were not anything to take lightly, either. Although Spotsylvania came on the losing end of their game 7-4, Courtland battled the Cavaliers twice, splitting the series, as did King George. Chancellor, with an extremely strong pitching staff, felt the power of Caroline’s pitching and hitting as they were defeated soundly, 13-5. James Monroe proved to be no contest when playing Caroline.
The Cavalier bullpen was both on and off throughout the season with senior ace Adam Desjarlais. He was 5-2 with a 2.22 ERA for the season. Of 41 innings pitched, he struck out 67 and was charged with 21 runs, 13 of which were earned. Desjarlais was hit 25 times. Collin Hess was close behind with a 4-1 record and a 2.8 ERA. Hess struck out 38 in 35 innings pitched and allowed 14 runs with 14 earned, giving up 36 hits.
The offense was led by sophomore shortstop Rasharrd Harris, whose batting average reached 0.465 with a whopping 0.535 slug percentage (number of bases tagged safely divided by the at bats) and an on-base percentage of 0.512. Harris stole five bases, scoring 21 runs while amassing 19 RBI.
Junior center fielder Jay Chapman, batting in the number three position, had a heavy bat with a 0.373 average, 0.508 slug percentage and 0.481 on base record. Stealing eight bases, he scored nine runs and had 10 RBI.
Desjarlais, in addition to his pitching prowess, hit 0.314 with a 0.333 slug percentage and a 0.435 on base percentage. Desjarlais also stole 11 stolen bases out of 13 attempts and had four RBI.
Senior Justin Pitts, who is headed to University of Mary Washington to play baseball, scored 13 runs and had 20 RBI.
Coach Frank Dow stated, “We are working towards beating the teams that beat us this year. We have proven we can be competitive in this new conference.”