What a difference it makes having seniors on your roster. Rolesville’s athletic program has made strides overall with it first class of seniors to attend the school all four years, and baseball is no different.
The Rams are 9-5 overall and 6-2 in Greater Neuse River Conference play, which is tied with Clayton for first.
Rolesville opened as a new school with freshmen and sophomores and suffered through a 1-18 inaugural season in 2014. The Rams improved to 4-17 in 2015 and last year snuck into the playoffs with a 12-11 record before losing in the first round for a 12-12 final mark.
“The players are all in,” said second-year head coach Jake Gross. “What I mean by that is they understand their roles and their energy is high. They root for each other to do well. They lost a lot of games the first couple of years, but they’re competitive and having fun now.”
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Rams senior pitcher Cameron Allen, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder that throws right and bats left, has dedicated himself since last season to improving his mechanics to get the most out of his pitching potential.
He’s been working with his older brother, Andrew Taylor, who pitched at Wake Forest, N.C. State and with the Los Angeles Angels in 2012 before an injury prematurely ended his career.
“I’ve always wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps,” Allen said. “He’s working with me and teaching me a lot of mechanics. I’m working on throwing strikes, getting ahead of batters and understanding pitching better. He’s teaching me everything he knows.”
The Rams tasted the playoffs for the first time last year before losing in the first round to D.H. Conley. This year they want to contend for the Greater Neuse title and return to the playoffs. You can’t do it without pitching.
“I want to do everything I can to help this team to the playoffs and make a run,” Allen said. “We want to win the league title.”
Allen says he has heard some interest from Division I schools, but he also might take the junior college route.
“He’s a competitor that wants to win,” Gross said. “He wants to get out there every single day to work in practice. He’s really concentrated on his pitching and hoping to go places. It’s showing.”