Statesmen expect success

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Success is a tradition for Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity baseball team, and high expectations accompanied the Statesmen into the 2018 season.

The squad opened the year with an 8-3 victory over visiting Park View High School, of South Hill, on Thursday.

Josh Barmoy is in his first year as varsity head coach after serving as junior varsity head coach last year and varsity pitching coach the year before.

The Statesmen are coming off two straight seasons in which they went 20-3 and advanced as far as the regional semifinals.

“I don’t expect anything less from what we have done in the past as far as success-wise,” Barmoy said just prior to the start of the 2018 season. “I think we’ve got the tools to be successful and (to) be competitive in every single game …”

The Statesmen will miss some key seniors who graduated last year, including 2017 Quad Rivers Conference 34 baseball Player of the Year Josh Jones, all-conference pitcher Raleigh Duffer, Bradford Webb and Kendrik Goldman.

However, Randolph-Henry fields a seasoned team this year, including eight seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and one freshman.

“I think we’ve got a really good-caliber team, some good senior leadership, which is important for looking at team chemistry and the dynamic of our team,” Barmoy said. “I think it’s just going to come down to us making the plays.”

As for who he expects to make plays on the mound, “we’ll be leaning on probably Carter Strickland, a senior, this year. So, we’re looking for him to do big things for us …”

Barmoy described Strickland as a left-handed pitcher who has an above-average arm and throws the ball well.

“He can throw it hard and locate, and he has good pitches,” the coach said. “His three great pitches (are) fastball, curveball and change-up. When he locates those and he’s able to throw those for strikes, he’s very effective.”

Another player that Barmoy anticipates logging a significant number of innings as a pitcher is junior Skylar Lacks.

“Skylar’s a right-handed pitcher that throws the ball (a) pretty decent speed as well,” he said. “He’s probably going to be more of a contact guy that is going to be looking to throw strikes and get guys out that way.”

On offense, the coach noted he is hopeful everyone can demonstrate some consistency so the team does not have to count on just one standout, but he does expect several players to help lead the way.

“We’ve got some guys that have been in the program for a while like Carter and Jordan Jones,” Barmoy said. “We’re looking again for Skylar to put the ball in play, and those guys will be probably at the top of our order.”

Barmoy also hopes to see some production from seniors Elijah Moore and Devin Mariannino.

Listed from leadoff to the ninth spot, the batting lineup going into the season featured senior Jordan Jones, senior Jackson Harding, Strickland, Lacks, sophomore Shane Robbins, senior Russell Schmidt, Mariannino, senior Damarius Mosley and sophomore Tyrik Beattie.

The Statesmen are set to visit Amelia County High School on Thursday at 5 p.m