Mike Hennessey, who is in his 12th year as the Charlotte Country Day baseball coach, couldn’t have scripted a better beginning to the season for his veteran ballclub.
The Buccaneers have jumped out to a 6-0 start after knocking on the door for a shot to compete for a state title before they fell to Wesleyan Christian Academy, 4-1, in the semifinals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A state playoffs last season. They faced arguably their toughest test of the season when they played Marvin Ridge on Thursday, March 16. However, the outcome of the game wasn’t decided in time to meet the South Charlotte Weekly’s press deadline.
Country Day is getting good hitting, pitching and fielding. It’s excelling in every phase of the game thus far. Hennessey attributes much of the Bucs’ early success to his team’s core of experienced veterans that includes sevens seniors and a strong junior class that have played together for a while.
There’s a hunger for a state title amongst the team after falling short in recent years.
Senior Ben Williams, an all-conference first baseman, has been on fire at the plate as the cleanup hitter with a .600 batting average. He leads the team in RBI with 10. Williams has been Mr. Clutch with big plays at pivotal junctures. Country Day has turned six double plays, and he’s been on at least half of those.
Senior shortstop Richard Arendale has been solid as a playmaker and a leader who leads by example. Junior catcher John Hosmer has been reliable behind the plate. He has been just as dependable with his bat, as he hits .583.
This is the deepest Country Day’s bullpen has been during Hennessey’s tenure. He can put nine different pitchers on the mound. This group of talented hurlers is led by junior William Hamil. He was the No. 3 starter for the Bucs last season, but has stepped into the No. 1 role.
Country Day doesn’t have the superstars. Instead, it’s a group of guys that do their jobs well. The players want to win a state title, but Hennessey just wants to take it one game at a time.