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Hiram seeks return to postseason
by E. Marcel Pourtout
April 16, 2014 11:37 AM | 2008 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>From left, Hiram seniors Justin Aikens, Blake Cairnes, Dalton Jones and Thomas Gaines at practice last Thursday.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
From left, Hiram seniors Justin Aikens, Blake Cairnes, Dalton Jones and Thomas Gaines at practice last Thursday.
With four games left in the regular season, the Hiram baseball team finds itself outside of the top four teams in Region 5-AAAAA, meaning a return to the state playoffs for the second consecutive season under head coach Chad Tittle seems unlikely.

However, the remaining contests have significant meaning to the Hornets.

“We’re still in the hunt for the postseason and not mathematically eliminated,” Tittle said. “Making the playoffs is an expectation for us and returning to the postseason would help grow our program, particularly for the younger players moving us in the right direction.”

Senior catcher Thomas Gaines has performed well for Hiram and Tittle noted the backstop’s strong defensive skills as a positive to the team. Two juniors, shortstop Ian Tait and left fielder Jacob Lester also have made positive contributions to the Hornets.

Hiram’s biggest strength has been the pitching staff which has only given up a respectable four runs per contest. Senior pitcher and University of Memphis-commit Blake Cairnes has led the charge.

“Blake has done a great job for us and his record doesn’t show that he hasn’t received a lot of run support this season,” Tittle said.

Even if the season ends without a playoff appearance, the Hiram coaching staff has found positives for the future.

“Our kids have done a great job of buying into what we’ve asked of them,” Tittle said. “We want to be a good defensive team, pitch well and place pressure on the opponent while on offense. We’ve just had some tough luck this season.”

Last season, the Hornets’ season concluded with a loss to Gainesville in the first round of the playoffs.

“We’ve been inconsistent but if we can put the ball in play more, it will give us a shot at the postseason,” Tittle said.

Hiram returns to action on Friday at North Paulding.

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