Three area baseball teams have started their season with high hopes for a better year after the pandemic sent players home with an uncompleted 2020 season.
Games started in March for three Wayne County private schools — Wayne Christian, Faith Christian and Wayne Country Day.
Before games were canceled a year ago, the Wayne Country Day Chargers had a strong start with a 4-0 record. The Faith Christian Conquerors held a record of 1-0, and the Wayne Christian Eagles held a record of 0-1.
This season, the Chargers got off to a strong start, after winning the first three games and outscoring opponents with 43 runs to four.
The Chargers won their first game of the season against Harrells Christian Academy by 21-2 on March 5. The Chargers won their second game against Wilson Christian Academy by 12-2 on March 6, and won a third game against Wesleyan Christian Academy by 10-0 on March 8.
The Chargers lost their fourth game Friday against Charlotte Christian, with the Knights walking off the field with a 8-0 score.
So far, the Friday loss is the only game keeping the team from being undefeated, with the Chargers standing at 5-1 overall this season.
The Chargers hit the field hard Monday and won 9-1 against Wilson Christian Academy. The team followed with another win Tuesday by outlasting Rocky Mount’s Faith Christian Patriots in an 11-1 score.
There are 11 more games for the Chargers through the end of April.
Adam Pate, Chargers head coach, said he has high expectations for his team this season.
“Obviously, we want to win as many games as we can,” Pate said. “We knew what the expectations were coming into the fall (and) that was to be a talented team and win a lot of games. So (we’re) off to a good start, and that makes it really nice.
“I’m looking forward to some of the tough games on our schedule, and just our schedule in general. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing what we can put together.”
Pate said he is happy with the depth of the team.
“We are very deep with talent,” Pate said. “That is one thing that a coach is always fortunate to have. We’ve got a really good pitching staff that I think is going to be a big point that carries us.
“Garrett Moffett obviously on the mound is one of our leaders and you also have guys like Tanner Willman and Rowan Watt. Rowan and Tanner, both of them play infield and they pitch. So they’re big key players offensively and on the mound as well. Then we have a long list of younger guys that are carrying big roles and have already had a big impact on our season so far.”
Faith Christian Academy’s Conquerors have also started off strong this season with an overall 3-1 record, outscoring their opponents with 31 runs to 15.
The Conquerors won 14-4 against Greenville Christian Academy on March 4. They won with an 11-1 score against Liberty Christian on March 9 and won again with a 6-4 score against Bethel Christian Academy on March 12.
The Conquerors lost their fourth game Tuesday to Wilson Christian Academy by 0-6.
Steven Reese, Conquerors head coach, said he believes his team can keep playing at the high level they have so far this season.
“We hope to continue like we are going,” Reese said. “The guys are young, and we have a few seniors. The seniors are giving us some good leadership, and the young boys are playing hard, so it’s working out better than we expected.”
Reese also said he felt bad for two of the seniors that missed their season due to the pandemic, but said it inspires his players this season.
“I think the big thing was that the boys have a lot of heart for the seniors that didn’t play last year,” Reese said. “Daniel Thompson and Jackson Freeman were two of the (best) leaders that we’ve ever had at Faith baseball. They loved the game more than anybody, and I think everybody felt for them. So I think that’s helped them play harder and want it more.”
The baseball season for the Wayne Christian Eagles started March 12, with the team’s game against the John Paul II Catholic Saints ending with the Saints winning 26-7.
The Eagles are scheduled to play a total of 13 games this season, including a double-header against the Wayne Country Day Chargers, on April 1, and will face the Conquerors on April 22.
The baseball season for public schools throughout Wayne County begins April 27.