In its first four wins of the year, the Apex baseball team has outscored its opposition 30-7. Not too shabby for a team that graduated 11 players from a season ago.
“Our strength is going to be our hitting,” Apex head coach Mike Valder said. “We just have to grow into it. We’ve got talented guys. I’m very proud of how close-knit they are. We’ve just got to find the right combo.”
The Cougars are 4-4 (3-3 Southwest Wake 4A) on the season having played a rigorous schedule. Already, Apex has faced Holly Springs, Green Hope, Sanderson, Fuquay-Varina and Millbrook – teams that have all either won a conference title or advanced to the 4A East final series in the last decade.
Only two opponents out of eight didn’t make the playoffs last year.
Pitching was an expected strength entering the year with Sam Highfill, Cam Mason, Sam Goff, Kanan Butler and Justin Rhew all having varsity experience. Catcher Matt Cruz handles the pitching staff.
Aside from a 10-0 loss to Holly Springs on March 7, the Cougars have been strong on the mound as well, allowing just 10 total runs in their other three losses combined.
“I thought our guys threw strikes,” Valder said. “Holly Springs, that’s a very good hitting team. We wanted to go out there and really keep them at bay. ... We graduated a lot of players. But we’ll learn from it and get better.”
J. Mike Blake contributed.