The Yazoo County Panthers finished their baseball season on Monday with an overall record of 15-8 and went 10-0 in district. Coach Corbin Ellis also said that the Panther's senior class went out with a 37-3 district record and three district titles in their four years of high school.
"This was a big senior class that has been playing together since the seventh grade," he said. "I'm really going to miss this group of seniors, not only because of their talent, but more for their personalities. They are a fun group to be around."
Ellis said that the Panthers started out their season slow this year because of poor weather, which showed on the field early in the season as they started out with a 2-4 record. The Yazoo County boys soon found their spark, he said, and the Panthers won 13 of their last 15 games.
Ellis said that most of the seniors had very good statistics in their final season.
Ben Luckett had a solid year at bat with a .572 average, 5 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, and 34 RBIs.
"Ben was one of our leaders on the field playing behind the plate," Ellis said. "He is really knowledgeable of the game and would speak up when needed."
Cameron Shaffer was successful at the plate with a .554 average, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, and 24 RBIs.
"When Cameron stepped into the box, I was expecting him to get a hit," Ellis said. "He sees the ball well and it's hard to fool him when he steps in the box."
David Michael Jones batted in the middle of the order for the Panthers this year and had one home run and 16 RBIs for the season.
"David Michael really stepped it up defensively at first base," Ellis said. "He worked on his defense throughout the season and became a solid first baseman for us."
Ellis added that Ben Pennington stood out as a starter in left field this year, impressing the team with his work ethic and arm strength in the outfield.
Sidney Burrough made an impact on the mound by picking up a couple of wins for the Panthers which helped them win back-to-back district titles.
Despite a leg injury, Ellis said that Dylan Parker was also able to give quality time on the mound for Yazoo County.
Ellis said that he was most impressed with Tanner Evilsizor this year, not just with his performance on the mound, but also with this defensive plays in center field.
"This group of seniors leave some big holes to fill," Ellis said. "But we have some younger guys coming along that will step right in and fill those holes."
He added that one player who will take over the mound next year will be Ethan Hill, who finished the season as a sophomore with a 4-2 record in 36 innings, and pitched 44 strikeouts.
Peyton Thrasher will be returning to second base next year and had a batting average this season of .371 with 6 doubles, 2 triples, and 22 RBIs.
Ellis said that Hunter Barron stood out on the mound after picking up a couple of wins this season, and had a batting average of .444, 6 doubles, 2 triples, and 12 RBIs.
Franco Whisenton and and Donavin Green will be spending time on the mound next year, and Ellis said that Matthew Hughes will be ready to step up and fill the center field position.
"These seniors have helped lay a solid foundation that we can build on," he said. "We may be a little younger and inexperienced next year, but we will have to grow up quickly as we move into a new district with bigger competition...but that will only help make us better and more prepared for the playoffs."