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franklin county times

On a mission

By Staff
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
The 2004 campaign was a dream season in many respects for the Phil Campbell baseball team, as the Bobcats posted a 21-6 record and spent the last six weeks of the regular season atop the state rankings.
A late-season sweep at the hands of Winfield, however, meant that the Bobcats' dream season was destined for a nightmare ending.
The two losses to the Pirates relegated Phil Campbell to third place in their area, meaning the No. 1 team in Class 3A would be forced to watch the state playoffs from the sidelines.
The Bobcats get a fresh start this season in Class 2A, Area 16, but only a berth in the state playoffs will erase the bad taste lingering from last year's heartbreaking finish.
If the Bobcats are to return to postseason play after a two-year absence, they must do so without the services of Chris Hawkins, Keith Cansler, Jarred Pierce, Trey Canida and Robby McGalliard, all of whom graduated last year.
Much of that speed will come from junior leadoff man Griffin Harris, who batted over .400 last season, and senior outfielder Eric Glasgow, who returns to the baseball field after a one-year hiatus.
Aside from Harris, the Bobcats also return a pair of .300 hitters in catcher Randy Cochran and outfielder Matt Thomas, as well as infielder Aaron Voyles and pitchers Kevin Lacey and Todd Carter.
In addition to the solid core of returners, Beck will also rely on sophomore Brett Thomas and freshmen Steven Lacey, Jonathan Dill and Caleb Thompson.
The left-handed Harris, pitching his third season at the varsity level, will again be counted on as the ace of the staff.
There is no clear No. 2 starter behind Harris right now, but Beck has plenty of options among Cochran, Matt Thomas, Kevin Lacey, Carter, and all three of his freshmen.
Phil Campbell no longer has to battle with Sulligent and Winfield, but Beck knows that the Bobcats' new area will be no walk in the park.
The Bobcats opened play on Friday in the Indian Invitational in Sheffield. They will also play on Monday, Tuesday and Friday of this week.

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