Panthers baseball preview, Video: Coach interview
The Cumberland Gap Panthers divided their baseball team up into two for some pre-season baseball, March 11.
With pandemic rules against scrimmaging other teams in place, teams are left to playing in this manner in preparation of the season which starts next week.
Coach / Manager Nathan Hatmaker used the scrimmage to see how his players react to game type situations.
His 2021 team is underclassmen heavy but has lots of talent.
Hatmaker feels his pitching is in good hands with Gibbs Cakrin being a younger arm that is expected to do good things.
Jerry Cannon will provide senior leadership to the mound and Coach Hatmaker likes his consistency.
Senior Peyton Wilder will be the ace and has been a great leader for the team over the years and will once again play different positions as needed as will Cannon .
Noah Robertson will be expected to come in and give the team good innings in relief.
Offensively, the Panthers hit the ball very well during the scrimmage and were patient at the plate.
Hatmaker said this about his team, “I just want us to get better each time we go out. We are sophomore heavy and those kids will do some great things for us this season.”
Hatmaker is joined in coaching by Lon Wilder, Hunter Baylass and Kent Hatmaker part time assistant / papaw.
Players to watch according to Hatmaker will be Wilder, Cannon and Justin Moore.
The 2021 Panthers feature Clint Crockett, Cody Johnson, Peyton Wilder, Jerry Cannon, Justin Moore, Noah Robertson, Gibbs Cakrin,
Riley Justice, Devin Byrd, Alex Griffin, Alex Douglas, Seth Massengill, Andy Osborne, Isaac Brown, Landon Heck, Isaiah Gerrells, Asher Hatfield and Ethen Powell.
The Panthers begin regular season play next week.
By ALLEN EARL