Photo by Barry Stephenson.
Garrett Farquhar is set to man one of the middle infield positions for Hoover once again this season.
A 30-win season is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter how far a team advanced in the state playoffs.
The Hoover High School baseball team was sent home after the first round of the state playoffs, losing to eventual Class 7A state champion Hewitt-Trussville, but that does not dampen the overall success of the season.
“The effort the kids gave was tremendous,” said Hoover head coach Adam Moseley. “We won an area championship, which is hard to do. Last year’s team did everything we asked them to do.”
Class 7A, Area 5 featured Tuscaloosa County, Thompson and Oak Mountain, who took down top-ranked Vestavia Hills in the first round of the playoffs. This spring, Vestavia Hills replaces Oak Mountain, so there is no drop off in the competition the Bucs will be forced to go through.
“There are good coaches in every place that we play,” Moseley said.
Trying to make a deep run in the postseason this spring will not be any easier, but Moseley said he believes the Bucs have the pieces to make some noise and be one of those teams that is tough for others to go through.
Moseley’s plan for a successful team starts on the mound, where he believes Hoover will be strong. Brock Guffey and Garrett Farquhar are back, each having thrown more than 50 innings a season ago. Guffey, a left-hander, has signed to play at Wallace State Community College.
Junior pitcher Scott Elgin is also set to be a factor on the mound for the Bucs, as well as Devin Cole, who missed last season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Moseley also is encouraged by some of the program’s young arms, and those pitchers will have the chance to prove themselves throughout the season.
Farquhar and Nolan Hammonds comprised the middle of the Hoover infield in 2016, and they are set to reprise those roles once again, but both have the flexibility to move around if the situation arises.
Tyler Williams, who hit for more than a .400 batting average last season, will likely man one of the infield spots.
Brandon Agsalud is a player who can play any position on the diamond, and Ty Robinson also will have a role. Senior Kenly Hager is a team leader and also will factor heavily into the infield rotation.
In the outfield, junior Evan Veal “has a chance to be special,” according to Moseley, and will likely play a big part in the team’s plans there.
Jacob Kopkin is a player with a great deal of power at the plate, and he said he hopes to rebound with a big season following an injury. Senior Ben Abercrombie is back, a well-rounded athlete committed to play football at Harvard University.
Moseley also mentioned some of the guys being looked at to fill infield roles would also be able to slide into an outfield position if necessary.
Each team is different, but Moseley said he does not intend on altering much of what he does on a yearly basis.
“There’s an overall scheme with what we try to do, but we’ll definitely try to adjust based on personnel,” he said. “I want a team that pitches really well, and we’re going to have to manufacture some things on offense. We have some tools to do that.”