Pam Pack baseball primed for playoffs

Published 6:39 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Austin Thompson, Justin Meekins and the rest of the seniors know all too well the struggles the Washington Pam Pack baseball team has endured in recent years.
But the Pam Pack has had a resurgence this year, and is primed for its first postseason appearance in 11 years. Washington’s last playoff appearance came in 1998.
As the Pam Pack quarterback last season, Thompson helped lead Washington to its first football playoff victory since 1998. Thompson, who would love to do that on the diamond as well, said winning has certainly made this baseball season an enjoyable one.
Third-year Pam Pack coach Darin Vaughan said qualifying for the playoffs would be a big boost for the program.
Since 1980, the Pack is 16-10 overall in the playoffs. Washington made it to the state championships in 1991, falling to Statesville 8-7 (11 innings) and 19-6.
The Pack is hoping to add to that playoff win total this year.
The Pack, 11-7 overall and 5-6 in Coastal Conference play, has a chance to surpass the 12-win total from the 2006 season (12-11, 6-8). Vaughan knew his team would be able to win some games this year, but just didn’t know how many.
Thompson said the Pack’s hot start helped his team gain some much-needed early confidence.
Meekins said that team camaraderie has also helped.
The Pack has three regular-season games remaining. Washington will play at conference-leading New Bern (14-6, 10-1) tonight, host Havelock (5-14, 1-10) on Tuesday and host West Carteret (11-7, 4-7) on Thursday. The annual Trent Watkins Awards will be presented Tuesday, while Washington’s seven seniors — Thompson, Meekins, David Tyson, Christopher Everett, Brandon Thomas, Gil Broadway and Cody House, will be honored Thursday.
Meekins is hoping his team can end the regular season on a positive note.
It’s been a special season for the Pack players and coaches, including assistants Joey Duke and Doc Austin.
It’s also been a special one for the fans. They haven’t gone unnoticed by Vaughan.
Coastal Conference baseball
New Bern 10-1 14-6
J.H. Rose 9-2 16-2
D.H. Conley 7-4 12-8
South Central 7-4 10-8
Washington 5-6 11-7
West Carteret 4-7 11-7
Havelock 1-10 5-14
West Craven 1-10 1-17
Coastal Conference softball
D.H. Conley 8-1 15-1
New Bern 6-2 11-2
Washington 6-2 10-4
J.H. Rose 6-3 17-5
South Central 5-4 8-7
West Carteret 2-6 5-11
West Craven 1-8 3-11
Havelock 0-8 2-11