Glynn Academy’s baseball team may have graduated some of their key playmakers, but after Tuesday’s opener against Camden, the Terrors seemed to have picked up right where they left off a year ago.
The Terrors defeated Camden County Tuesday night 11-1 in five innings, giving a strong showing on both sides of the ball.
Coach Trent Mongero said it was a good quality win, but there is still room to improve.
“The thing I was most impressed with was we competed hard with two strikes offensively, put some balls in play hard and made some things happen early,” Mongero said. “I think we scored in almost every inning, at least the first four frames to put pressure on them.
“I thought Tom started out pitching well when he stayed within himself on the mound. The ball was jumping out of his hand very nicely. It was a good quality all-around win to start, but I got about five things on my list that we need to fix. So, it was a good quality first game.”
After the Terror’s performance on Tuesday, it’s safe to say everyone was excited to see baseball live again.
“It feels great. Even the scrimmage against Charlton felt like a regular-season game,” Mongero said. “It’s funny when you’re away from the game so long, it takes you a little while to get back in the groove as a coach and as a player, but that was a good W.”
When everything got shut down, Glynn ranked as the No. 1 team in 6A and was 12-2 — then the plug got pulled. Mongero said they’re still in the top-10 now, but those rankings aren’t what matters right now.
“Rankings mean absolutely nothing at this point. The only ranking that we’re concerned about is literally the one at the end of the season,” Mongero said. “We’re just trying to get better and trying to find our best lineups. We’re trying to get guys to work, so come region play, we’re ready to put our best product on the field.”
It had been 340 days since everything got shut down, and the energy surrounding Wainwright Field buzzed as it should on opening day. While COVID-19 is still around, there is hope that 2021 won’t see another shut down like they did last year, and Mongero said his team learned from last year to enjoy every day.
“Every day is opening day mindset, and you just go give everything you got because you never know when it can be taken from you,” Mongero said. “Heaven forbid that it would be again this time. It’s very encouraging that we got through the fall and the winter, and we’re an outdoor sport, so I feel like there’s a really good chance that we’re going to get the season in, but you never know. Attack each game like it’s your last.”
Glynn utilized that mindset and came out guns blazing against Camden, especially on defense, holding the Wildcats to just four hits on the night. Tom Echols got the start for Glynn, and Blake Wood came in to relieve him.
Echols pitched three innings, giving up no hits or runs as he struck out four batters and walked one. Wood relieved him for the final two frames, giving up one run on four hits. He also recorded four strikeouts and two walks on the outing.
“We had three guys that pitched in the scrimmage against Charlton. All three were scheduled to pitch tonight, but Munoz didn’t get a chance because it was a shortened game,” Mongero said. “I thought Tom was sharper than Blake.
“It’s always a challenge to come in and pitch when you have a really big lead, but you should be able to do that. That’s something we’re going to continue to work on. I don’t feel like Blake was at his best anywhere close to his best, but he still found a way to compete, shut it down and keep the game from being extended.”
Glynn put up three points in the first inning, added one in the second and then the bats exploded in the third inning as the Terrors scored seven runs. Camden committed six errors on the game, and Glynn took advantage of those, especially with their base running abilities.
“The whole goal is to coach them and then get them comfortable, so they make good decisions,” Mongero said. “You want them to be instinctive. I thought we did some things well in that regard. There were a few things that a lot of people probably didn’t notice that I felt like we didn’t do so well on the bases. Those are some of the things that we’re going to go to work on.”
Glynn tallied six stolen bases in the game from Joe Cutia, Tyler Devlin, Hugh Edgy, Spence Hartman, Hank Noonan and Wood.
However, one of the things Mongero took away from this game was the toughness his batters showed when they had two strikes on them. Mongero said it’s extremely important to be tough with two strikes because it keeps tension on the defense.
Devlin went 2-for-2 from the plate and had two RBIs on the day. He also scored two runs. Wood also went 2-for-2, scoring two runs and earning one RBI. Noonan went 1-for-2, scoring two runs. Eight guys in total scored at least one run for the Terrors after getting on base in some shape or form, producing 13 quality at-bats.
“We have a lot of team speed up and down our lineup. It puts pressure on the defense,” Mongero said. “They have to field and throw it, and people make mistakes when pressure is put on them. If you strike out, there’s no pressure on anybody, you’re an out, and you walk back to the dugout. So grinding out at-bats — our goal is to strike out less than four times a game total as a team. I think tonight we had one or two. So we achieved that goal.”
Up next for the Terrors is the first of two weekends of Baseball at the Beach, where they welcome teams from Georgia to play games at Wainwright Field and Bud Couch Field. Glynn will take on Pike County at home Friday at 4 p.m. and then have a doubleheader on Saturday against Sandy Creek at 1 p.m. and Vidalia at 4 p.m.