The Hawks have jumped out to an impressive 7-1 start in their first eight games with a perfect 3-0 mark in Region 3-1A action. The Hawks’ most recent win was a 10-6 victory over 3A Charleston Thursday in Shaw. Shaw got some great hitting from Ricky Lunford Jr., Anthony Davis Jr., Lerandel Allen, Ruben Kince and Austin Smith. Shontarius Wright earned the win on the mound.
The game against Charleston was a great example of how the Hawks have swung the bats this year as they’re hitting .498 as a team and have scored an average of 13.9 runs a game. Shaw’s only loss was a 10-9 setback at the hands of 4A Gentry on Mar. 10. Since then, the Hawks have won six in a row.
On the 24-man roster, Shaw has nine seniors with two juniors, three sophomores, six freshmen, three eighth graders and one seventh grader.
Shaw High head coach Rickey Lunford Sr. is proud of the way everybody is playing together and said the experienced players are stepping up.
“We’re pretty strong, “ Coach Lunford said. “Many of these guys have been playing since seventh grade. They’re making better judgments, and their work ethic is better. My team is still young. I’ve got four seniors, three ninth graders and two sophomores starting.”
So far, there’s not a weak spot in Shaw’s line-up.
Freshman Anthony Davis (.818 avg., 9 hits, 6 runs), sophomore Ruben Kince (.643 avg. 18 hits, 11 runs, 6 RBI), sophomore Filiberto Rippy (.607 avg., 17 hits, 9 runs, 5 RBI), freshman Ricky Lunford Jr. (.552 avg., 16 hits, 11 runs, 7 RBI), senior Xavius Loggins (.536 avg., 16 runs, 15 hits, 9 RBI), Allen (.536 avg., 12 runs, 15 hits, 6 RBI, Sr.), freshman Shontarius Wright (.522 avg., 15 runs, 12 hits, 5 RBI), senior Keveon Shepherd (.387 avg., 12 hits, 18 runs) and senior Austin Smith (.280 avg., 7 hits, 9 runs) have spearheaded the Hawks’ attack at the plate. Many of the hitters in the line-up have also stolen a lot of bases.
On the mound, Kince (3-1), Charlie Tyler (1-0), Wright (2-0) and Antonio Arrington (1-0) have thrown some quality innings.
Coach Lunford said the team has a good feel of the game right now.
“We feel very confident,” Lunford said. “We have speed on the bases with all nine hitters putting the bat on the ball. We’re running the bases well, and we’re being aggressive on the bases. We’re hitting the ball and moving runners around. We have six or seven pitchers, so we’re not hurting on pitchers.”
Coach Lunford said he is especially proud of the way the team has worked hard everyday to improve.
“We’ve been communicating better this year with everybody being on the same page,” Lunford said. “We’re not missing practice. When it’s rained, we’re still practicing. We don’t take days off. Having coach (L’Kenna) Whitehead to help me has been the biggest advantage. He conditioned them and worked with them when I coaching basketball. Coach Whitehead has been a major contributor to our success. He has a love for the game.”
Shaw will hit the road to Greenville to play St. Joe in another Region 3-1A game at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.