The Rutland Hurricanes baseball team has not made it to the GHSA playoffs since 2010 when it advanced all the way to the quarterfinals.
But with a strong senior class and an influx of young talent, the Hurricanes have jumped to a 12-5 start, and even more importantly, they are 10-0 in GHSA Region 2-AAA. Rutland has two region games this week against Central.
“We certainly can’t afford to overlook anyone in our region because we are somewhat inconsistent at times, but coming into the season, our seven seniors made it a goal to get back to the state playoffs,” said Rutland head coach Wally Pritchard, whose team is batting .381. “We have certainly put ourselves in a position to make a run for the state playoffs.”
The Hurricanes boast four hitters batting well above .400, led by senior Will Scruggs, who is batting. 580.
“Will had a goal of making all-region last year, and he did it, and this year, he wanted to make first team all-region or be the player of the year in the region, and he is doing everything he can to attain those goals,” Pritchard said. “He is one of those players that just wants to find a way to help the team win.”
Rutland also has junior Malik Bond batting right at .500 with 20 RBI and leadoff hitter Codie Rozier batting .449 with 16 stolen bases. Sophomore Nick Simmons is batting .435 with 14 stolen bases, giving Pritchard’s team plenty of baserunners at the top of the order.
Rutland has been dominant in region play so far, outscoring region opponents by a combined score of 133-7. The Hurricanes are bolstered by a strong pitching staff, led by Rozier, who has a 0.28 ERA, as well as Bond and Simmons. Bond and Rozier both have four wins already.
Rutland’s game Monday with Mary Persons was rained out, so the Hurricanes can turn their focus to the Chargers.
“Central is a rival, and they always seem to play us tough even when they are a little down, but we would rather have played the Monday game,” Pritchard said. “We just want to compete and play as well as we can against quality competition.”
Even though the region schedule has not been difficult as of yet, there are two games at the end of April against Jackson that could be for the region championship. Jackson is currently 13-3, with an 8-0 record in the region.
“Right now, it looks like those games will be very important for us, but we are more focused on getting better every game and not letting up,” Pritchard said. “I really believe that anyone in the region can step up and improve by the end of the season, and we just want to make sure that we keep improving. We will not look ahead because we still have lot of baseball to play.”