Defense holds key for young Noxapater Tigers

By Austin Bishop
Winston County Journal

First-year Noxapater High School head baseball coach Casey Orr is
expecting a lot of low-scoring games for his Tigers this year. At
least that’s what he’s hoping for.

“We are going to have to pitch and play defense and find runs when we
can,” Orr said. “We don’t have the big bats who are going to hit home
runs and hit it off the wall. We are going to have to make things
happen on the bases and put pressure on their defense.”

The Tigers did manage to score a few runs in a season-opening 12-10
win over Scott Central last week.

The Tigers were set to visit Ackerman on Tuesday, weather
permitting, before hosting Sebastopol on Friday and then getting a
return engagement from the Indians of AHS on Saturday.

Next week sees district play begin with Noxapater hitting the road to
face arch-rival Nanih Waiya on Tuesday and French Camp on Friday.

“We are extremely young,” Orr said. “I started four eighth graders in
our first game. We don’t have any seniors on the starting nine. My
two seniors are good athletes, but they haven’t played before. I’m
really hurting for experience.”

Orr said he plans on running a lot of guys in and out of the early
games, trying to get as much experience for his Tigers as soon as
possible.

His two “oldest” leaders will be juniors Austin Snow and Marshall
Kugle. Snow will be behind the plate when he’s not pitching, while
Kugle will be on the mound or playing third base. Orr is also looking
for a big year out of center fielder Trent Moore. “He is going to
have to be a leader for us in the field.

“We are also going to have to lean on our eighth graders. I know they
are young, but they will make up a big part of our line-up,” he said.