By Stephen Henderson
Summer time is for baseball, and the Patrick County High School baseball team is continuing that love of baseball with an organized plan of action that includes practice, ball games with other local high schools and workouts in the weight room.
Cougar Baseball Coach Eric Renegar explained it this way: “This summer we are spending a lot of time with the guys working in the weight room, getting them on the field and just being together throughout the summer with an organized structured plan. We have played seven games up to this point (Monday) and have some success, winning three of our last five,” he said.
“These guys have really bought into this activity—they are really taking it to the next level,” he added.
Practice for the players is arranged week-by-week. They play on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They generally practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday with two sessions each day—morning and evening.
“We are working hard to get these guys where they need to be, physically speaking,” Renegar said. “We spend time on the field working on baseball tactics and the playing surface as well.
Some of the teams played include Magna Vista, Martinsville, Bassett, George Washington of Danville, Dan River, Chatham and McMichael High School in Madison, NC.
“We have organized it so that everybody gets their fair share of games,” he said, “so that nobody is traveling too much.”
Thursday (tomorrow), The Cougars host Martinsville at 5 p.m., their last home game.
According to Renegar, there is great deal of fan support and parents present at the games. “This has been a big deal this whole summer, getting fans and parents out supporting their players,” he said.
The program runs until July 15, and then players will have a “dead period” to give them some time off. However, come the first of August, Renegar hopes to get right back to work in the weight room and on the field.
“Early in August, we are going to get back on the field on work on baseball-oriented things—fundamentals, bunt coverages, first and third coverages and pick plays. Come October, we are going to work out in the weight room to build up physically,” Renegar said.
Rising eighth through 12th graders have been working out as a team; rising ninth through 12th graders have been playing, giving the eighth graders the opportunity to see what Cougar baseball is like.
Last Wednesday, the Cougars traveled to Dan River for a double-header. Patrick County prevailed in the first game by a score of 6-1 with Caleb Pendelton throwing four scoreless innings.
In game two, the Cougars found themselves down 4-0 in the first inning and battled back on the bats of Austin Vernon and Caleb Pendelton to come back and win 7-6. Nick Duncan recorded the save and Dylan Phillips got the win on the mound.