Blue Devils having a hot summer

Blue Devils having a hot summer

The West Memphis summer league team is currently undefeated, thanks in large part to a quartet of upand- coming freshmen m A fresh new class of faces are quickly making an impact on the Flash Market Blue Devils roster, the official summer team of West Memphis High School baseball, and have helped the Blue Devils get off to a 6-0 start this season, as of yesterday.

“These young kids moving up into ninth grade have really been playing well,” said an impressed Blue Devils head coach Gary Cordell. “I’m surprised at how much they’ve adjusted from playing junior high ball to varsity ball.”

Cordell says four incoming freshmen have already locked up starting spots on this season’s summer team and are making a good case to take the field when the Blue Devils take the field for the first time next season. Already being considered every day players for West Memphis are freshmen Gage Watson, Payton Voyles, Caleb Catt and Wade Rodgers.

“These young kids are hungry and want to win,” Cordell said. “They’re working hard. I’ve had two of them come up to me and say, ‘Coach, I’m starting next school season.’ I like that. They got confidence in themselves and they can do it…When we’re practicing, they ask questions like, ‘What do I need to do to get better?’” The four horsemen of the Blue Devil baseball’s freshman class have helped the Flash Market Blue Devils start the season off with a 6-0 record. The Blue Devils kicked the summer off with a 7-4 victory over Wynne before moving on to the Summer Kick Tournament where the West Memphis summer team defeated Showcase Team Raw Prospects 9-8, thrashed Overton High School 16-0 and crushed St. Benedict 13-3 last week. The Blue Devils then fell to Prospects 8-5 but were still awarded the championship after it was discovered that Prospects played with five players who all had at least two years of college baseball experience, according to Cordell.

Cordell hopes that the confidence gained this summer in his freshmen can help propel West Memphis deeper into the state playoffs after the Blue Devils (12-15 last season) were eliminated in the opening round of the 6A state tournament by State Runner-Up Benton (22-12) with a 10-0 loss.

“They’re a lot more baseball advanced and knowledgeable than what I’ve had,” Cordell said.

“They’re wanting to win.

They’re working hard and they’re pushing the other kids. Either they come out and work hard or they sit the bench.”

The Blue Devils travel to Kirby High School tonight before returning home Thursday to Tilton Rodgers Park to play Byhalia at 5 p.m. The Blue Devils wrap up their summer season at White Station next week.

Photo submitted by Gary Cordell

By Collins Peeples