Enquirer Herald

Playing hard ball

York first baseman Shane Waldrop attempts to tag out a South Pointe baserunner during the Cougars' game against South Pointe Saturday.
York first baseman Shane Waldrop attempts to tag out a South Pointe baserunner during the Cougars' game against South Pointe Saturday.

YORK -- Though the York Comprehensive High School baseball team has found the going tough in region play, junior standouts Josh Vallejos and Josh Greene and senior mainstay J. P. Duncan have been a breath of fresh air for the Cougars.

Vallejos, who's been terrorizing opposing pitchers, has established himself as one of the top hitters in Region 3-AAAA as well as the Upstate.

The YCHS catcher, who entered this week's play with a hefty .430 batting average, hit his 8th home run of the season and added a double for good measure in a loss to Gaffney last week.

"I try to make contact," Vallejos said after Saturday's 7-1 loss to South Pointe. "I am hitting the ball with confidence and make sure I swing through the pitch."

Vallejos began the season with a hitter's mindset.

"I worked hard to improve my hitting by remaining active in the offseason," he said.

Greene, an all-region performer last year, has offered more of the same this season.

The Cougar centerfielder is batting a cool .360 and plays the game with passion and commitment.

Greene attended the Carolina Baseball Clinic in Charlotte in the offseason to improve his hitting.

"Participation in the clinic helps my game a lot," he said.

Greene has his own take on the Cougars' recent stretch of 1-run losses.

"We need to play with emotion and play with heart," he said. "Players need to step up and we need to stay together."

Duncan, a timely hitter and solid second-baseman, exudes positive vibes when talking about how the game should be played.

"We need to stay motivated and play hard," Duncan said of the remaining games. "There are still region games to be played, with the opportunity to make some things happen."

Speaking after last week's 3-2 loss to rival Clover, which ended on Greene's potential game-tying line drive that was snared and doubled up the runner, Duncan said, "We had some unfortunate events tonight.

"That's the way the game goes sometimes."

Responding the the Cougars' 1-run losses and setbacks to Gaffney and South Pointe over the weekend, head coach Scott Kiggans said there was no lack of effort.

"There's nothing wrong with the players' mindset." Kiggans said. "The kids come ready to play.

"We will continue to work hard to turn things around."

Senior slugger Shane Waldrop belted two doubles in Saturday afternoon's game against South Pointe.

The Cougars play at Northwestern Friday at 6 p.m.

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