OCILLA, Ga. (WALB) - The Irwin County Indians are gearing up for the 2021 baseball season.
A team that’s seen plenty of Final Fours in recent years looking to make a return, despite the lack of experience on this young team.
Sophomore third baseman, Bryce Clements, said, “It’s a lot of pressure because of the season before last year, but you know, I think we have the group right here to do it and make the comeback and continue that tradition of winning.”
In 2018 and 2019, the Irwin County Indians dominated, bringing home two region championships and two final four appearances.
In 2020, it’s what could’ve been.
Head Coach Drew Tankersley said, “Number one, two, and three in our order were all ninth graders, so they needed that season to play. But, you know, we can’t use that as an excuse because everybody was in the same boat.”
But it’s a new year, and Tankersley is excited for what this team has in store.
“We’re going to be learning and getting better on the fly, but we do have some talented players, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Tankersley.
This team is without seniors, now having to rely mostly on its underclassmen.
Sophomore pitcher, Cody Soliday, said, “I think we’re going to do great this year. We’ve got a great bunch of guys and no seniors, but we will see what we can do.”
“We should start some young players this year, like really young, like ninth and tenth graders. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do. They certainly talented it’s going to be gaining that experience on a varsity field,” said Tankersley.
With just over a month before the regular season, Sophomore Pitcher Cody Soliday told me the work starts now, and they’re happy to be back.
Soliday added, “It feels great. It was a long offseason with quarantining and all of that but getting our arms back in shape, and I’m ready to go.”
Tankersley continued, “We’re just hoping and praying for a full season, and I feel it in my gut that we will get that. But it’s almost surreal. Last year was so crazy having the season canceled just a few games in, but it’s awesome, and we’re looking forward to a full season.”
“Last year, our season got cut short, and we only got to play eight games, but we’ve been playing together for a long time, so I think we’ll be alight,” said Clements.
The Indians set to open their season against Lanier.