The French Camp baseball season ended with a doubleheader loss to Vardaman in the first round of the MHSAA 1A playoffs after the Panthers won the opening game of the best-of-three series 11-1.
French Camp finished 10-11 including 4-4 in Region 4-1A for fourth place.
“Unfortunately, we kind of peaked early,” said coach Nathan Wright.
The high point of the season came with consecutive victories over East Webster, Eupora and Winona just before Spring Break. “After Spring Break, we didn't get on that rhythm again.”
The Panthers had four seniors – Holman Edwards, Zac Gilmer, Phillip Lucas and Judah Parish.
Edwards is an old fashion three sport star in football, basketball and baseball. He batted .350 with 13 RBIs and a team leading 25 runs scored. He was also the team's most effective pitcher with a 3-3 record, 1.57 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 35.2 innings.
Wright said Lucas was a pleasant surprise after limited play in previous years. “He really came on and did well.” Lucas batted .367 and led the team in homers with four and RBIs with 23. On the mound, he was 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA.
Seth Box, a junior, led the team in batting with a .382 average. Other key underclassmen were Jarren Holmes who batted .333, Bradley Edwards (.291), Holt Barlow and Cody Perry, a freshman who batted .312.
Lucas had a homer, single and three RBIs and Holman Edwards pitched a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the 11-1 win over Vardaman.
“I had a lot of doubts at the beginning of the season,” Wright said. “But when we got started I had some hopes that we would do more than we did.”
The key for next year, he said, will be finding pitchers. “Every year you have question marks about who those guys are going to be.”
Barlow, Box, Holmes and Perry all saw time on the mound this year.