Garner coach Derik Goffena expects more from Noah Gallogly than his strong bat this spring. The Trojans are an unusually young team that starts two freshmen and a sophomore balanced by only three senior starters. Gallogly is one of those seniors playing first base.
“He’s a hard-working kid who provides leadership for our younger players,” Goffena said. “He’s a good defensive first baseman, and he was one of our top hitters last year. We’re counting on him to hit batting third for us.”
A senior-studded lineup is more common at 4A schools, but Gallogly has embraced the leadership role in his second varsity season.
“I knew coming into this season I was going to have to lead,” Gallogly said. “(Goffena) didn’t have to say anything to me about it. We have some great group of guys and some young talent. I think once we get things rolling we’ll be really good. I love this role on the team.”
One of those young talents is freshman catcher Nolan McLean (.485), who is already ranked a Division I college prospect.
Gallogly was batting .350 through 12 games and has ranked among the team leaders in hits, runs and RBIs. Fellow senior Wellington Guzman (.486) leads the team in batting while McLean leads in homers (two).
Garner was off to a fast start in the Greater Neuse River Conference with a 3-0 conference mark before suffering its first league loss to East Wake. Garner now sits 8-4 overall and 5-1 in the GNRC.
“We started the year with high expectations, and we still do,” Gallogly said. “We’re a young team, but we just have to keep working and building every game. We’re going to get better.”
Gallogly wasn’t happy with how his team responded to a 15-0 win over East Wake and then losing to the Warriors in nine innings three days later. But he does like how the team overcame 2-1 and 4-3 deficits to force extra innings.
“We fought back,” Gallogly said. “We showed a lot of fight. I’ll take that in our team the rest of the year.”