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Harris making contributions at Lynchburg

South Boston News
Harris / February 22, 2018

Former Comet standout Will Harris looked more than ready to resume his Lynchburg College baseball career Sunday in Danville, as the Hornets’ senior played well in Lynchburg’s non-conference win over Averett University.

Harris had been leading the Hornets in hits, doubles and RBI when an injury short-circuited his junior season. In Sunday’s 8-3 win, Harris batted third and finished two-for-four at the plate. Harris scored one run and walked once. He was left on base one time, and also played well in right field, with four put outs.

Lynchburg is 1-1. Averett dropped to 1-5.

Harris is expected to be a critical part of this Hornets’ squad, which opens at home Saturday in a doubleheader against Mount Saint Vincent. This Lynchburg team, under the direction of first year head coach Lucas Jones, has been picked to finish ninth in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference preseason poll by the coaches. Shenandoah narrowly edged Randolph-Macon for the top spot.

Lynchburg delivered ample offense, with a 12-6 edge in hits over Averett. Harris poked a double and seemed comfortable at the plate.

After missing an opportunity in his first at-bat, the senior reached on an infield hit in the top of the third to load the bases.

Harris demonstrated solid hustle on the play, and that work was rewarded when Matt Ward delivered a sacrifice fly. Brad Hylton also had an RBI groundout in the top of the third, as Lynchburg forced a two-all tie.

Lynchburg’s leadoff hitter, Thomas Powell, delivered a high octane 4-for-4 day, with a double, a hit-by-pitch and two runs scored.

Ward ended the day with four RBI, including a sizzling bases-loaded triple in the fourth inning. The Hornets enjoyed very respectable pitching, as sophomore southpaw Nick Norman struck out the side in his scoreless sixth inning. Senior right hander David Goulding earned a three-inning save with his second scoreless outing of the year.

Harris later cracked a double in the top of the sixth. The senior was likely denied an RBI because Powell was caught stealing third before Harris’ blast.

Harris, who also had a stolen base Sunday, said, “it’s just good (to be back) close to home…I started off a little rough and had a few teammates, coaches …. telling me what I was doing wrong. Later on in the game, when it paid off, helped square balls up, hit the ball a lot harder. We’ve got a whole new coaching staff this year, and they’ve been pushing us,” said Harris. “As of rght now, we’re not at our best, but when we get there, we’ll be an extremely …talented team.”

Harris has high expectations for his senior season.

Harris feels good about the result Sunday on the road. “It’s definitely good to get a win early in the season,” said Harris.

Jones appreciates that Harris can produce for the Hornets.

“Will obviously has been here for four years. He’s been in the lineup, he’s been a constant (performer)….Although it’s a new coaching staff for his senior year, we’re looking for him first and foremost to lead…His bat is huge. He’s a swing away from changing the game, big middle of the order hitter for us. And his defense has gotten better the last six months. We’ve seen some great strides on that end,” he said.

“The combination of his offensive play and his leadership have been pretty important to us,” said Jones, who is expecting more of the same as Harris’ senior season continues.

Jones believes Harris will be a constant threat to change the direction of games, assuming the senior remains healthy.

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