Warriors trying to keep baseball machine well-tuned

By Austin Bishop
Winston County Journal

History shows that often times dynasties implode from within.

That’s something Nanih Waiya head baseball coach Tyler Rogers is
trying to make sure doesn’t happen with his Warriors.
“I’ve been watching out for that, but really everybody has been
pretty level-headed,” Rogers said. “I don’t think they are satisfied.
That’s the big thing, not getting satisfied with where you are.”

Not only has Nanih Waiya won the last two MHSAA Class 1A State
Championships, but the Warriors have a majority of those pieces
returning for another run at the title.

‘We have got high expectations,” Rogers said. “That’s going to happen
when you have seven starters returning off a State Championship team.
We are looking to go pretty deep in the playoffs and for that to
happen you have to pay well, but you also have to get lucky.”

The Warriors are a combined 45-16 over the last two seasons.

During the 2011 title run Nanih Waiya picked up a lot of 10-run rule
wins, but last season most of the playoff series went to three games.

“I think we learned from that,” Rogers said. “It was special to have
to fight for every game. As a coach you like to win big, but there’s
something special about feeling you have earned everything you’ve
gotten.”

This year’s key will be much like it has been in the past two seasons.

“Pitching will be one of our main strengths,” Rogers said. “I think
we have two of the best pitchers in the state.”

One of those — 6-foot-5, 230-pound Colby Eaves — was recently named
to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen list. He was the
Mississippi Association of Coaches 1A player of the year last year as
a junior.

The other man on the mound NW will be looking for to have a big year
is Luke Rosamond, who plays short when he is not pitching.
Eaves will be playing first for Nanih Waiya when he’s not pitching,
while Hunter Luke is in center field and junior Stewart ball is
behind the plate.

“He really hit the ball in the championship series,” Rogers said of
Ball. “He was a big offensive weapon for us.”
Ty Higginbotham will be at third, as well as seeing some time on the
mound, while Tanner Dalton is at second and Zach Hanna is in left.

The Warriors, like most baseball and softball teams in the area, have
battled the wet weather in the early stages of the season, but were
able to open the 2013 campaign on Friday with a 18-0 win over Scott
Central.

Eaves and Ben Cumberland combined for a no-hitter in the game, while
Eaves stroked a homer and Rosamond, Luke, Ball, Brady Jones, Dalton
and Cumberland had two hits each.

“We really hit the ball well for the first game of the season,”
Rogers said. “Until you start playing, you really don’t’ know about
your hitting.”

The Warriors were slated to host Leake Central on Tuesday, before
traveling to Union on Friday and then heading to Winona on Saturday.