Defense will be the key for Dallas County

Published 1:07 am Friday, March 5, 2010

PLANTERSVILLE — Four solid pitchers is all any high school baseball team can ask for, and Dallas County High School has that.

With injures to the top two hurlers in the Hornets’ rotation healed, first-year head coach Willie Moore is expecting good things.

“That’s critical having so much youth,” Moore said. “It gives us four options, and two of them are left-handers. They don’t throw very hard, but they are very consistent.”

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Justin Moore has overcome a rotator cuff problem and will be one of the go-to pitchers. He’s also the leadoff hitter in a offense that will rely on small ball and manufacturing runs.

“We’re pretty successful when he gets on base,” Moore said. “We’ve been working on bunting every day. We have kids that are able to lay it down, and that’s everybody’s responsibility.”

With Moore setting the table, Justin McAfee will be the most likely candidate to drive him home. McAfee will bat cleanup and can play three positions in the field, including pitcher.

“He has the power to hit it out, and the speed to steal his way around,” Moore said.

The Hornets are well rounded, but the one thing they lack is big game experience. Moore has tried to take care of that deficiency by scheduling tougher teams to prepare for a playoff run.

“We won our area last year, but we got swept out of the playoffs,” Moore said. “Those teams don’t beat themselves, and our goal is to not beat ourselves.”