Laurens District High School (LDHS) baseball players and fans will honor former player Matt Holcombe at their home opener, on Friday, March 13, 2020. Holcombe, who was a member of the 2014-2017 LDHS baseball program, was fatally injured in a car accident in early February. Holcombe’s parents, Michael and Phyllis, will throw out the first pitch after the LDHS baseball program retires Holcombe’s number three (3) jersey.
The schedule has the Raiders taking on Wade Hampton High School at 7:30 p.m. in the home opener at Ed Prescott Field. Preparations for the 2020 season have been underway for some time now, and Coach Patterson (head varsity baseball) has his players focused on effort, intensity, and positivity in practice each day.
There have been a few differences noted between last year’s and this year’s team. The ones identified by the coaching staff include the ability to be more consistent on defense as well as offense. The pitching rotation for the Raiders lost some experience but they are confident that their defense will be able to control the game for the first half of the season as pitchers gain more experience. The Raiders’ strengths this year will be the top of the batting lineup, which includes Juniors Zac Rice, Zach Faulkner, and Austin McNuer, along with Seniors Aidan Pridgen, and Jaylon Nance.
The Raiders’ have a strong cadre of leadership this year. Junior Zac Rice (catcher) is a three-year starter who provides leadership on and off the field. Senior Aidan Pridgen (outfield) will also take on some leadership responsibilities. The 2020 team’s goal is to win the region, something the program has not done since 2009.
Coach Patterson said, “We are ready and excited about this upcoming season. We know that we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are prepared to take on the challenge. Win or lose, our guys will come out and compete every single game no matter what the outcome may be.”