Tuesday, April 29, 2014
In football, defense wins championships.
In baseball, first year football coach/AD turned baseball coach Art Craig is realizing in spring, it’s pitching that wins championships.
Or at least puts your team in position to win one.
Craig’s Timberland Wolves clinched second place in Region 7AA in a year when no one expected anything more than surviving after longtime coach Chris Pond’s late departure last summer for Goose Creek.
Craig stepped in to coach the team himself rather than rush to fill the slot with the wrong man.
In his first season on the sidelines and his team healthy, Craig has guided the Wolves to 10-6 record overall and most recently, a 2-1 H.I.T. tournament finish and a two big wins over Andrews and Lake City to clinch a home playoff game in the Class AA playoffs.
Lately, Timberland’s pitching has proven lights out for opposing hitters.
Wyatt Craig threw a 13-2 no-hitter against Lake Marion and Josh Winningham picked up up his third straight win pitching a complete game, downing Lake City 6-3.
Craig’s no-no was Timberland’s second of the season. Earlier in the year Ryan Hood threw a 10-0 perfect game.
Down 3-2 in the home half of the sixth inninag against Lake CIty, Tripp Wilkie’s bases-loaded single drove in two runs to give Timberland a 4-3 lead.
One hitter later Wyatt Craigsingled to drive in an important insurance run.
J.T. Dennis capped the rally with an RBI single to up the lead to 6-3.
The Wolves have posted a 6-1 mark once the rain stopped falling in late March.
“I believe we are starting to mature some and are learning to fight when things don’t go our way,” Craig said. “I believe are a completely different team than we were a month ago. As a coach you want to see improvement and that is starting to happen. We can be a good team when we choose to compete and we are fighting a lot harder than we were at the beginning of the year.”
The Wolves begin their Class AA playoff run this week. First round opponents have not been determined.
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