Seahawks get the offense they’ve been waiting for

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter tournaments are a late-season chance to fine tune things before spring break and the homestretch that follows the layoff. Southside needed the break from 1-A Coastal Plains Conference action to get itself sorted out.

The Seahawks did just that on Monday when they shell-shocked Mattamuskeet’s pitching staff. The bats came to life in a way they hadn’t in weeks, producing eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning in a 12-1, five-inning win that earned Southside third place in Washington’s tournament.

“It was nice, especially after our last game where I felt like we didn’t swing the bats very well,” coach Kevin McRoy said. “We changed the approach a little here. I think they came out more aggressive than they were the other night. It was nice to see going into a long break.”

After starting the season 4-1, Southside went on to lose four of its first five conference games. Most of the losses were narrow: a nine-inning home game against top-ranked Bear Grass, 12-inning home defensive standoff against East Carteret, and one-run shortcomings to Pamlico County and Northside.

The Seahawks have been soaring since that 9-8, rollercoaster loss to the Panthers. They won four-straight league games, handing the first-place Bears their first loss, heading into the Easter tournament.

While Northside decisively defeated them in Saturday’s main event at Washington, Southside found a lot to build on in the tournament. Cody Modlin and Marshall Medlock led the team at the plate with two hits apiece, and four others also notched a hit.

It wasn’t just that the Seahawks were putting the bat on the ball. They’ve been doing that most of the season. The problem has been that they’ve been hitting it hard to opposing fielders.

Well, they hit the ball hard and into gaps against the Lakers on Monday. Demetrius Ebron, Will Warren and Grant Jensen each belted a triple apiece. One of Medlock’s two hits was a double. They were as patient at the plate as they were aggressive, too. The Seahawks drew six walks to one strikeout.

“I just wanted to be more aggressive,” McRoy said. “We came out (Monday) more aggressive at the plate. The bottom of our lineup stepped up. I felt like they gave us a spark in the second inning when we scored four and got us going. That carried over to the top of our lineup, but our bottom hit well all day.”

After one last non-conference game next Wednesday, Southside ends its regular-season slate with road games at Pamlico County and Northside, with a home meeting against East Carteret sandwiched between the two. It will determine where the Seahawks finish in the standings. The Panthers and Hurricanes are in second and third, respectively, with Southside ranked fourth in the CPC.

“We’re confident. They know we’ve caught some tough breaks in the first half. We let a number of games slip,” McRoy said. “We’re confident. We just want to go in and play well in these last four games.”