Charles Prince

The North Jefferson News

MT. OLIVE — The 2008 Tabernacle Torches can pick up right where they left off in the 2007 baseball season, when they reached the state tournament and finished third.

“I’d expect us to win our division and get back to state,” Torches head coach Tim Thompson said. “We have a chance to be better than we were a year ago.”

Thompson has a strong nucleus of seven starters from last year’s club to work with this season as Austin Thompson returns at first base, Daniel Whaley returns at second, Tyler Marshall returns at third, Landon Ingle returns on the mound and in the infield, Will Lankford returns at catcher, Bradley White returns in center field and Frankie Doganiero returns in right field.

“There’ll be some good teams at state, but along with Northside Methodist of Dothan and Tuscalossa, I think we’re in the mix for a state title. We’ve got several sophomores who started last year and they’re juniors now. They’ve grown up and I think we could be better.”

Thompson thinks pitching and defense will be the backbone of this year’s club, but he thinks the power numbers may not match his club’s totals of 2007.

“We may not hit the long ball like we did last year,” he said. “We’ll have a different type of attack, but we’ll be sound defensively and we should have strong pitching.”

Thompson also welcomes a pair of transfers to this year’s team—pitcher Seth White from from Haleyville High and Jared Higginbotham from Gardendale High School, who will likely play shortstop.

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