The Class AAA No. 1 state-ranked Jags have scored 368 runs overall in 34 games in 2011, a clip of 10.8 runs per game. They scored 269 runs (10.7 per) in the regular season and in the postseason, they scored 99 (11). The Jags have been on a roll all season long, starting with Region 4-AAA play. They outscored their eight region opponents 179-24 in 16 games, with seven shutouts.
The Jags have scored 15 or more runs in a game nine times this season (including the postseason) and have “run-ruled” their opponents an astounding 13 times this year. To run-rule an opponent is to force the mercy rule on them in a game, which is beating a team by 15 runs after three complete innings or by 10 runs after five innings. Including the postseason, the Jags have scored nine or fewer runs only 11 times this season.
Spalding has blasted more than 50 home runs this year, including a school-record seven grand slams. During an April 19 regular-season game against the Stockbridge Tigers (a 15-0 rout), the Jags smashed two grand slams — in the first inning. Infielder/pitcher Casey Moody leads the team in homers with 14.
All in all, this is Jags head coach Mickey Moody’s best offensive team in his eight years at the helm of Spalding High, besting the 2006 Spalding squad (9.6) by more than a run.
“We as a coaching staff had our early staff meetings before the season started and we thought this team could be special, even with all the variables that could come into play,” Moody said. “Coming back from last season, we all knew that we had a talented team and they could swing the bats well, but this year has been amazing at the plate.”
Moody said the key for the Jags at the “dish” this season has been the hard work the team puts in the batting cages. The Jags truly emphasize batting sessions and getting quality at-bats in every game.
“We work on getting our feet down and hitting to all fields,” said Moody. “When I say get our feet down, that means to make sure your front foot is planted before you get ready to swing.”
Moody said the best thing about his team is their discipline and patience during their at-bats.
“I think our hitters do a great job of working into a hitter’s count, such as 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 and 3-1,” he said. “We’re ready to pounce on fast balls if they pitch those. Also, if they decide to pitch backwards, or throw different pitches late in the count, to fool us, we’re ready for that as well because we’re always studying opposing pitchers.”
SPALDING HIGH RUN PRODUCTION CHART
Year Runs Scored/Games Runs Avg.
2011 368/34 10.8
2010 231/29 7.9
2009 193/27 7.1
2008 184/27 6.8
2007 170/23 7.3
2006 281/29 9.6
2005 177/24 7.3
2004 251/33 7.6