Eagles searching for pitching

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If Porters Chapel was at the poker table, its baseball program would be looking for an ace.

Or two.

The Eagles are using the summer as a time to develop a pitching staff and find a replacement for 6-foot-7 pitcher Talbot Buys, who graduated last month. Everyone on the team, save two, has gotten a shot at replacing him on the mound.

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“We lost a great pitcher in Talbot Buys and we’re going to have to find someone, or two people, to replace him,” Porters Chapel assistant coach Chris Busby said. “Being 6-foot-7 on the mound made him hard to miss. We’ve got some kids who can throw it in the field and we’re putting them on the mound to see how they act and how they maintain their composure. That’s our biggest task: finding pitchers over the summer.”

Results have been mixed, but with the Eagles splitting six out of their eight doubleheaders so far, progress is being made. The Eagles were swept by visiting Pisgah, 7-5 and 5-2.

Busby, who is running the team in summer ball, has been happy with the effort and has gotten a good, long look at the entire roster so far.

“We’ve been able to get a lot of young kids some experience out here with our system,” Busby said. “Offensively, we really want to work on situational hitting, getting bunts down. Defensively, we just want to make all of the routine plays with a few spectacular ones mixed in there. We’ve taken our lumps, but we’ve taken this as a learning experience, which is what we use summer league ball for, learning what our kids can do. It’s mainly a growing experience.”

In the second game Tuesday at shortstop, Sam Kirk was in the right place at the right time with runners in scoring position and one out. He caught a sharp liner and tagged the runner off second. Even better, he would’ve been in perfect position with the runner on third caught off the bag for a rare triple play.

Jonah Masterson played catcher last season and will have a chance to play more of a utility role with Austin Bond’s development behind the plate.

Bond, who got some opportunities at backstop last season, will likely catch some games in 2013.

Masterson supplied some much needed offense, lasering a line drive down the third-base line to drive in PCA’s two runs in the second game.

“He’s good to have in the field with everyone around him where he’s in control and can be leader like he is on the football field,” Busby said. “But he’s one of those types who will play anywhere we have to have him.”