Wildcats Baseball Coach Jerrod Hammack, starting with 14th season as Sulphur Springs Head Baseball Coach, said Thursday the Wildcats are preseason ranked #10 according to Texas High School Baseball Magazine. He said it is the highest preseason ranking any of his Wildcats’ teams have ever had. Coach Hammack said one of his teams, that went four rounds into the playoffs, finished with a #8 ranking.
He said the #10 ranking is nice for the team. Coach Hammack said it is probably because of the last two seasons that have seen the Wildcats finish as a co-district champ in 2017 and a tri-district champ last season. He said the ranking would put a target on the team’s back.
The cupboard is far from bare for the 2019 Wildcats. Coach Hammack said he has 6 players returning who were starters or played a significant amount of time. Pitchers Pacen Edwards and Jaxon Chaney return. Edwards also played shortstop and Chaney third base. Coach Hammack said Edwards is a competitor and should challenge to be the team’s ace. Coach Hammack said Chaney has as much power as any Wildcat he has had and could hit 10 plus home runs. Catcher Kaden Argenbright, a Henderson State signee, is also back. Coach Hammack expects Argenbright to hit second in the lineup as he has for the past three years. He said Argenbright could play anywhere but will probably be needed to catch. Austin Dodd will return in center field and is expected to bat lead off again. Coach Hammack said Kamren Harrison played a lot in right field last year.
He said he has holes to fill at first base, second base and left field. Coach Hammack said he likes the players that will probably move up from the JV. He expects them to provide depth on the mound and shore up other positions. Coach Hammack said he would be trying to find the right fit for positions during scrimmages and tournaments. He hopes to have the answers by the time district play begins.
Coach Hammack said it’s not unusual for practices to begin in the Multipurpose Building due to rainy and cold weather. The Wildcats first scrimmage is scheduled for February 4 at Wildcat Park as Sherman is coming to town. Coach Hammack said he has had past teams reach the third and fourth round of the playoffs and he added the current team is also capable of advancing. He said the team features good leadership from seniors and has camaraderie.
In closing Coach Hammack said by the end of the season, he hopes the Wildcats will have played to their full potential. He said if they do that he would be pleased.