Philip Perry has never been the go-to pitcher for Jay M. Robinson.But the senior right-hander is preparing to do just that, taking over the spot left open by Clemson pitcher Brody Koerners graduation.Hes been put on the back burner the last couple years, and I think hes learned a lot during that time, said Bulldogs coach Jason Sarvis. Hes definitely ready for it.Perry looks forward to the pressure that comes with his new role.I know the team depends on me a lot more this year, said the East Carolina signee. I like that pressure because it keeps me focused, motivated.Perry, a four-year varsity player, isnt intimidated by having to pitch against the top teams his Bulldogs will face this year.The 18-year-old has come a long way since debuting as the Bulldogs closer as a freshman, when he admits he was nervous each time he stepped on the field.Now its just second nature, said Perry. You dont even think about it.He earned a starting spot as a sophomore, and he quickly became a key contributor for Robinson.Watching him mature every single year has been very exciting, said Sarvis. Each year hes gotten better and better and better. Hes surprised all of us on how good hes become.At 6-foot, 170-pounds, Perry isnt a typical power pitcher, which Sarvis thinks plays to Perrys advantage.His fastball just explodes out of his hand, Sarvis said. His fastball sneaks up on hitters a little bit.Perry relies on his teams defense, but he struck out 103 opposing batters as a junior, using a combination of his high-80s-mph fastball, his change-up and his curveball.He throws everything for a strike, Sarvis said. He has confidence in everything that he throws.Despite Perrys accuracy, Sarvis said his biggest contribution to the team may be his competitiveness and leadership.Hes a kid that makes everybody better around him, said Sarvis. We know that every time he steps on the rubber he gives us a great chance to win.The Bulldogs hope that proves true this season.With a young lineup which will feature three sophomores who will play on a regular basis Jay M. Robinson will need strong performances from returners and newcomers alike.Sarvis said his team will be thinnest at pitcher.We know who our No. 1 is, said Sarvis. But after that its an audition every day.He said Tyler Kocher may be the No. 2 pitcher. Josh Macek, Hunter Kocher and Jake Glunt should see time both on the mound, as well as in other positions.Perry, who also plays for the South Charlotte Panthers club team, said he worked to get stronger in the offseason. He hopes that will help him have more success on the mound, allowing him to keep his pitch count low and not rely on an inexperienced staff behind him.Landon Cochran and Trevor Wilt could be key contributors for Robinson, too.Were hoping to get better every single day, said Sarvis. And hoping that were better in the middle than we were in the beginning, better in the end than we were in the middle. Theres going to be some bumps in the road. Its a matter of how these kids deal with that adversity.If the Bulldogs can come together to reach their potential, Perry said, they could achieve their goals of competing for a South Piedmont Conference title and for a spot in the 3A playoffs.Its going to take time, he said. It might start a little rough, but well get better.
Tuesday, Mar. 05, 2013
Senior Philip Perry hopes mound skills will lead Robinson team
Jay M. Robinson's Philip Perry, an East Carolina-bound pitcher, hopes to help a young Bulldogs' team with his strong arm and his experience. The senior is a four-year varsity player. SERGIO TOVAR - firstname.lastname@example.org
Others players to watch • Jake Barbee, Hickory Ridge • Tanner Bigham, Northwest Cabarrus • Garren Freeze, Cox Mill • Garrett Freeze, Central Cabarrus • Jordan Goodman, Northwest Cabarrus • Ryan Ross, Mt. Pleasant