By Kyle LoJacono
The Gaither High School baseball team has the bats to make a deep playoff run, but its pitching depends on the arms of Alex Milne and Dylan Hathcock.
“Our pitching hasn’t rounded into form as quickly as I’d like, but we’ll get it together,” said Gaither coach Frank Permuy. “Alex is our number one starting pitcher and Dylan is our closer, but I’m not sure after that. I think this could be one of our best teams because we have all the talent, but we just need to come together.”
Milne, sophomore, went 5-2 in 10 appearances with a 3.50 earned run average and 29 strikeouts last year. Through the Cowboys’ first six games, he has two wins in as many appearances.
“I wasn’t able to do anything during the fall season because I hurt my shoulder,” Milne said. “Now I’m healthy and I’m ready to get out on the mound each game.”
The left-handed starter uses a fastball, curveball and changeup.
Hathcock, senior, had 10 saves last year and appeared in 22 of Gaither’s 30 games. In those trips to the mound, the closer had a team-best 1.21 ERA and 40 strikeouts. This year he has two saves, one win and nine strikeouts.
“It was amazing how many games Dylan was able to pitch in last year,” said Permuy, who was recently elected into the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame. “He has one of those arms that can recover fast. We’ll need him this year in the bullpen.”
Gaither’s lineup is again being led by senior centerfielder Drew Doty, who already has his first homerun of the year. Last season he had a team-high 10 homers, 42 hits, 41 runs scored and 32 runs batted in.
Before the season, Doty said, “I’m just ready to get my senior season started. It’s my last and I want to make it my best. I want to bring home a district, regional and state championship.”
Third baseman Mike Danner is also making a difference at the plate for the Cowboys. He has one homer and eight hits through the first five games of the season. In 2009, Danner had 38 hits, 31 runs scored, 22 RBI and seven homeruns.
Gaither next plays at Freedom High School Feb. 13 at 1 p.m.
Gaither Cowboys baseball
- Opponent Result Score
- Steinbrenner L 5-4
- Leto W 5-4
- Wharton W 12-7
- Alonso L 4-2
- Chamberlain W 3-1
- Hillsborough W 4-3
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