Cavs maintain during tough stretch

Published 6:27 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017

After starting the season off with a tough slate of games, Lakeland High School’s baseball team is looking to get better.

Lakeland is currently 0-6. The Cavaliers have played a tough stretch early in their schedule including some of the top teams in the Southeastern District.

Because Lakeland is the only 3A school, they play against 4A, 5A and 6A teams in district play. Cavs coach David Devers believes that the SED is amongst the best competition throughout the whole state.

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With that said, getting that valuable experience against tougher opponents will help Lakeland in the long run. Despite being winless at the moment, Devers feels his team is coming along how he thought they’d be at this point.

“I wouldn’t say we are in an entirely bad spot, but we’re not where we want to be,” Devers said.

The Cavs feel they are coming along at a better rate than where they were last year. Lakeland has scored in every game this year except for one. Last year the team had not scored any runs up to this point in the season.

They’ve been in a few tight games this year where things just didn’t go their way. Once Lakeland starts to play teams within its conference, the matchups will be much more favorable.

“We look forward to playing these SED schools early,” Devers said. “You see different types of players and Division I athletes. We appreciate the chance to face that kind of competition. We feel it prepares us for our competition in the second half of the season.”

Lakeland is an older team this year, four seniors and seven juniors. Catcher Gage Fesette does a lot for the Cavs defensively.

“He gives everything he’s got,” Devers said. “He takes pride in his defense and does a good job handling our pitching staff. He’s just a real workhorse for us.”

Along with Fesette, Demonta Hawkins gives Lakeland solid production from centerfield.

Freshman Tyler Spencer has been a pleasant surprise for Devers. He has played multiple positions but has recently found a home at second base.

Offensively, John Cooke has been leading the way for the Cavs. He comes up with key hits for the team and always puts the ball in play. Fesette also adds production on offense, as well.

Lakeland always puts forth maximum effort each game. Devers knows each time his team takes the field, his players are going to give their all.

The approach to each game remains strong, and the Cavs hope it will pay off soon. They Cavs want to continue to find ways to generate offense and improve how well they play under pressure.

Lakeland will get an opportunity to put that philosophy to the test against Grassfield High School at home at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.