A Champions Tribute: Gilbert Indians

2A Champion: Gilbert Indians

By: Ashley Burnett-May 18, 2006

We have done well at Gilbert, but have not quite been able to get over

the hump in the playoffs. We would win the region and then bow out at the district finals. We were 17-5 last year but couldn’t seem to find our way into that final series.

Until 2006…

This year’s club truly embodied the notion that the success of the team was more important than individual success.

We pretty much had to "run the gauntlet of who’s who in AA baseball.” We had to face Newberry with Jesse Harmon on the mound and won 2-0. Then we played Walhalla winning that game 9-0 and had to come back to face Newberry again to win the district championship. A 9-2 win in that game allowed us to advance.  We then had to face Emerald with AA Player of the Year Brandon Miller on the mound, we won 3-0. We then faced Batesburg-Leesville with James Rawls on the hill and won that one 5-0. Our reward for that win was Miller and Emerald again. We finally got over that hump with a 3-2 victory to win the Upper State. We then faced Aynor at our place and won 10-0 in five innings on a Monday. Two days later we had to travel to Aynor to face Thomas Berryhill and won 7-3 to capture the AA State Championship. Our kids had to beat the best, indeed, to finish as champions.

Along the way we had some strong individual efforts. We were led at the plate by Justin Murray. He hit .422 with 28 runs, four doubles, a triple, two homeruns and fourteen RBI. Though he had the top batting average, freshman Adam Spires (.412, 17 runs, 17 RBI), Bryce Davidson (.387, 4 2B, 4 HR, 21 RBI), pictured left, and Colin Drafts (.386, 7 2B, 2 2B, 12 RBI). We were anchored in the middle infield by our shortstop Christopher Owings and Spires, which made our pitching staff that much better. Sophomore Kyle Owings (10-0, 0.25 ERA, 66 K in 55 IP), pictured right, junior Davidson (6-0, 3 SV, 0.60 ERA, 60 K in 46.1 IP) and junior Jason Cochcroft (7-0, 1.20 ERA, 43 K in 35 IP) were as good a trio as you are going to find at our level. The best thing about them is that we have all of them for another year and Owings for two more seasons.

I believe that we won because our team really felt no pressure all year long. To them they were just playing the game of baseball and, as stated earlier, they were willing to sacrifice individual success for the success of the team.

My ninth year at Gilbert was my most enjoyable, I’m so glad these kids were able to have this experience!

For more information on Gilbert, click 1  2  3.