Valdosta Daily Times

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May 29, 2014

Summer Showcase

Hornets use summer baseball to gain experience

VALDOSTA — Participating in the Valdosta High Summer Shootout tournament, the Cook Hornets and coach Cleve Edwards know the value of "practice makes perfect." While summer baseball does not count against a school’s record, it is the perfect opportunity for players and coaches to get experience and build a bond.

“Summer ball gives you an opportunity to work on a direction to go in for the upcoming year. Although there is a lot of time from when summer ball finishes and the start of school ball, it gives you a chance to look at some things about your team and allows players to build team chemistry,” said Edwards.

With a thunderstorm warning plaguing Valdosta for the major of Thursday afternoon, Cook was not able to complete either of the two games they participated in.

Taking the field as the home team in their first game, the Hornets faced the Charlton County Indians of Folkston. The Hornets sealed a 8-5 win, as the game was called after a 30-minute thunder delay caused the game to go over the time limit. While the Hornets got the win by technicality, Edwards did not have much good to say about his team's performance.

“There wasn’t a lot of good things going on to be honest. We had one guy that got six RBIs however. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have scored a whole lot in this ballgame,” said Edwards.

The next game began with clear skies, putting Cook against the Meadowcreek Mustangs of Norcross. Meadowcreek gave up two runs to the Hornets in the first inning, but bounced back quickly. The game was high scoring, with both teams earning at least eight runs. The Mustangs outlasted the Hornets through four innings however, winning 9-8 in the fourth inning due to yet another thunder delay.

Even though the Hornets did not complete a full game, they gained valuable experience and scored a lot of runs in both.

“We make goals for each game. Offensively we want to accomplish a hit-and-run in each game. We’ll try to have three pitchers per game,” said Edwards. “The biggest thing about summer ball is getting our kids experience; to see how they handle situations and it gives us a chance to see a lot about our players.”

As the Hornets continue their summer session, Edwards acknowledges the positives of their work.

“We get to see who pitches well, who starts off ball games well, etc. Summer ball is a good thing. Your season isn’t decided by one call so it's great practice,” said Edwards.

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