By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Pitching is obviously important on any level of baseball. But magnify that truth when it comes to the high school game, when one or two guys are lifting the heaviest loads.
“It’s the most important part of the game. If you don’t throw strikes, you’re not going to win,” East Union coach Chris Basil said. “More than ever, you need to be a pitcher, especially with advanced guys. It’s hard for pitchers to change when they’re used to blowing it by folks. Now guys are used to that speed and you’ve got to learn to pitch.”
Cody Bo Dillard, a Northeast CC signee and East Union’s No. 1, is coming off elbow surgery and has helped the Division 1-2A contending Urchins through one of the state’s toughest schedules. There are still things he’s trying to recover, but Basil isn’t surprised at his post-surgery success.
“Not really, if you knew Cody, the type of kid he is, how hard he works. I wish we had nine like him every year,” Basil said.
In 6A, Tupelo got exactly what it needed from lefthander Hudson Roy on Tuesday in a division win against South Panola. Roy threw a complete game win to get within a game of first place in Division 2-6A with two to play in one of the state’s most competitive divisions.
Thrasher is off to a perfect Division 1-1A start and Josh Walden is a reason why. Walden, coming off May ACL surgery, already has two perfect games to his credit.
He struck out a combined 25 batters in 15-0 and 10-0 perfect division outings against Jumpertown and Wheeler. He has 64 Ks on the season.
“A pitcher can control the game,” Thrasher coach Richie Taylor said. “I’m not really surprised. He came back strong, struggled in one game. With Josh, we get five or six innings and he’s on a pitch count. We start looking for his velocity to go down.”