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Chapel Hill eyes baseball title run
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
March 19, 2014 11:28 AM | 1100 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout<br>From left, Chapel Hill seniors Brandon Sattenfield and MJ Rookard before practice in Douglasville last Monday.
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout
From left, Chapel Hill seniors Brandon Sattenfield and MJ Rookard before practice in Douglasville last Monday.
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Coming off a 26-win campaign which included an undefeated region record and advancement to the Class 3A quarterfinals of the state playoffs last season, the Chapel Hill baseball team entered rebuilding mode this season after losing nine seniors from the 2013 squad.

However, the Panthers have responded by winning nine of their first 11 contests this season.

“We’re doing well and used the early part of this season to focus on fundamentals and set up the best batting order for the team,” head coach Mickey Harper said.

The infield has been led up the middle by two juniors; shortstop Tristen Leggett and second baseman Brandon Peterson. First baseman Brandon Atkins and third baseman Jason Rodriguez have also been in the lineup for the Panthers.

“Our defense has been a strong point,” Harper stated.

Senior Jacob Winslett’s first season as a catcher has impressed the Chapel Hill coaching staff.

“Jacob has done a really good job back there and has learned the pitchers along with defense,” Harper said.

Senior pitcher and Chattahoochee Valley College-commit Brandon Sattenfield won 11 games last season and continued his dominance. He is currently undefeated this year.

“We’ve started off well and look good as a team,” Sattenfield said.

Sophomore Savontae Williams has also emerged in the starting rotation along with seniors MJ Rookard and Jacob McClure. Relievers Chad Lindsey and Jesse Johns have manned the Panthers’ bullpen.

Rookard starts at centerfield as well and has seen his leadership role increase along with Sattenfield.

“We’ve tried to establish that everyone has a role on the team and must give all-out effort together everyday,” Rookard said.

The Chapel Hill baseball program has thrived since the school’s inception 15 years ago, all under the watch of Harper. The Panthers now have 47 players overall at all levels and added a freshman team this season.

“We’ve built a winning tradition while constantly fighting for region championships and playoff berths every year,” Harper said. “Our ultimate goals are to build quality men and develop their character through playing the game the right way and representing the school.”

Chapel Hill returns to action on Friday at Haralson County.



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