Panthers will rely on pitching depth, experience

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 2, 2004

CHESAPEAKE - Finally, Chesapeake coach Joe Waugh can put the word "staff" after the word "pitching."

Generally, Waugh has had one solid starter and struggled to find a solid No. 2. This season, Waugh thinks the Panthers will have some pitching depth.

Jeff Gilkison will be the top starter with P.J. Rase and Phillip Butcher expected to get plenty of innings. Also in the picture is freshman Kersten Harris.

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"So far, it looks like our pitching is coming around pretty good. Since I've been coaching, this is as deep as we've been. I wouldn't hesitate to throw any one of them in any situation," Waugh said.

"I'm hoping to get some innings out of Harris. We'll bring him along slowly and teach him about pitching. He has a real good arm."

The pitching depth matches much of the rest of the team: young but experienced. Waugh said the experience will be a plus, although only to a point.

"We're still a relatively young team. They've been through the fire and brimstone, so we might have a little experience on our side," Waugh said.

Justin Finley will be the catcher for the fourth straight season and he has impressed Waugh.

"He's been catching for four years and he's improved each year," Waugh said.

Butcher will be at first base when he's not pitching. His fill-in will be Matt Whitmore.

The infield will be comprised of several players who will rotate according to whomever is pitching. Rase can play shortstop and second base, Benji Pyles will be at second, third or shortstop, Keith Marcum at second base, and Gilkison will play shortstop or possibly in the outfield.

If Pyles isn't at third, Whitmore will step in and play.

"We're going to put together a pretty good infield," Waugh said. "We just won't be very deep."

In the outfield, Zach Henderson will be in left, Daniel Thompson in center, and Whitmore is the frontrunner in right. Also in right field could be Brad Eldred or Kermit Adkins.

Waugh is optimistic about his team's potential.

"Early in the season, the offense is going to be a little behind because you can't work on it as much indoors," Waugh said. "Overall, we have pretty good team speed up and down the lineup."

In the Ohio Valley Conference, Waugh said Fairland is the obvious choice.

"Fairland won it last year and they have everyone back. It looks like the rest of us are playing for second place," Waugh said.

Chesapeake Panthers

2004 Baseball Roster


Daniel Thompson,CF,Sr.

Justin Finley,C,Sr.

Phillip Butcher,1B-P,Sr.

Benji Pyles,INF,Jr.

Jeff Gilkison,INF-P,Jr.

Joey Stallo,INF,Jr.

Zach Henderson, OF,Jr.

Keith Marcum,INF-P,Jr.

Matt Whitmore,INF,Jr.

Kermit Adkins,OF,Jr.

Tyler Angle,INF,So.

P.J. Rase,INF-P,So.

Brad Eldred,OF,So.

Kersten Harris,OF-P,Fr.

Head coach:

Joe Waugh

Assistant coach:

Carl Pemberton, Greg Cremeans, Josh Waugh

2004 Schedule


2at Wayne, W.Va.5:00


5at Coal Grove*4:30

7at Fairland*4:30



12at South Point*4:30




20at Ironton St. Joseph5:00


22at South Gallia5:00



26at Rock Hill*4:30

27at Portsmouth West5:00


29at Hunt. (W.Va.) St. Joe7:00

30at River Valley*4:30


3WAYNE, W.Va.4:30


5at Gallipolis5:00

*-Denotes OVC game