#7 - Carson Stinnett
Now that the likes of Jason Barber and Houston Roth are gone from the Baseball team, it is time for Carson Stinnett to step up and take over one of the ace roles going into the 2017 season.
Stinnett might've gone 3-4 last year as the pitcher of record, but three of those four losses wasn't really his fault and really could've earned four more wins than he did. One of the losses occurred in the Perfect Game tournament where he may have pitched his best game of the year but didn't get any run support in a 1-0 loss to the 2015 National Runners-Up in Buford. Another came against eventual 6A Champion Madison Central in a 2-1 defeat where run support was very thin. The third came after he allowed the winning run aboard at Houston - who went on to become the 4A State Champions - and the relief pitching saw eight straight balls go in the dirt to allow Houston to score the winning run. He also started against Hillcrest where he baffled them for the first four innings (this was the game right before he pitched in the Perfect Game tournament) and was pulled with an 8-1 lead after the fourth but the lead was blown and didn't get the win.
Stinnett is one that pitches more to contact than striking batters out. To put more motion to that theory, he allowed more balls put into play (131) than Roth did (117) this season. Due to that, he also allowed more hits (35) than Roth did (32) and also led the team in obtaining "air outs" with 54. Roth pitched 19 more innings than Stinnett this season.
Overall Stinnett throughout his high school career is 7-5 with a 2.02 ERA with 61 strikeouts against 29 walks and three hit batters in 90-1/3 innings pitched. Four of his five losses in his career were deemed "tough losses" meaning he didn't deserve the losing decision but got it anyways due to errors by the defense in the field.
He is expected to be an everyday player next year with the departure of six seniors in the starting lineup. His bat is certainly good enough to be in the lineup even though he didn't show it that well this past season when the opportunity presented itself just going 3-for-17. Some of the pressure knowing that he is needed in the batting lineup might be taking off of him come the 2017 season and be able to hit better than what he showed in 2016. He did well in a pinch-hit situation late in the year getting a couple key hits when needed, especially the one against Grenada in the playoffs.
The Class of 2016 is graduating today, now Stinnett is officially a senior and after waiting three years to start in the big games it is his turn to be the leader on the team and on the mound.