BASEBALL SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR: Seth Yates makes it a clean sweep for Trojans

North Hardin’s Seth Yates sees room for improvement after pitching a team-high 53.2 innings and Coach Ace Adcock sees a lot of potential in him.

“It feels good knowing that all the work you put in has paid off and it was my goal coming in to win it and I’m glad I did,” Yates said.

Yates said he’s improved on his hitting the most over the season.

“Defensively, I had less errors and all around I was pretty efficent and I improved on everything,” he said.

“Seth is an unbelievable defensive player. Probably the best infielder I’ve coached. He has unbelievable hands,” Adcock said.

“Seth was really big for us on the mound this year,” Adcock said. “His ability to locate the fast ball on both sides of the plate and to be able to throw his curveball in any count for a strike and to keep batters off balance gave him a lot of success.”

Yates was called on to start on the mound in the 5th Region Championship meeting against Taylor County.

“It felt really good,” he said. “It was good experience if we make it back there and it felt good pitching. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it too, but it was a good experience.”

Adcock was impressed with Yates’ performance all season and relied on him on the mound.

“On the mound he was really good for us,” Adcock said. “To go 7-2 and he logged the most innings on this team. He really allowed our other three arms to extend out in a couple games when we needed them too.”

Yates earned a 2.09 ERA and whiffed 44. He tossed 11 games and started eight for the Trojans. Yates gave up 41 hits and threw 804 pitches.

Over the season and into the postseason, Yates learned how important rest is.

“You can get really tired so I tried to rest as much as I could,” he said.

With his experience this season, Yates took an important lesson away with him to never give up even when the score board isn’t in his teams favor.

“Even when you’re down in games like the district championship, you never give up and we were able to come back in one inning. We were down five and we scored five runs in one inning.”

Yates has been selected as Area Sophomore of the Year by the seven area coaches and The News-Enterprise sports staff. Yates earned 22 points with three first-place votes. Elizabethtown’s Ryan Pyles came in second and earned two first place votes, totaling 16 points.

Elizabethtown’s Camden Williams finished in third, with one first place vote, totaling 11 points. Voting was done on a 5-3-1 scale and coaches couldn’t vote for their players.

“I grew up playing with most of them,” Yates said about his competition for sophomore of the year.

Yates said his favorite part about playing for the Trojans is playing with his teammates.

“All of us are really close,” he said. “It’s fun playing for each other.”

He said he has known most of his teammates for a long time and that has helped with the teams’ chemistry.

“I’ve been playing with Kyle (Collin) since 8th grade, so two years, so we have known each other for a while,” Yates said.

He was able to learn from the upperclassmen and will be stepping up to lead his team this season.

“It’s like we dominated the district,” Yates said about North Hardin winning every baseball award category.

Heading into the summer and preparing for the season, Yates wants to improve in the weight room and get stronger. He will be playing summer ball and hopes to improve his game more and strive to help his North Hardin squad to another successful season his junior year.

“I think he is going to keep progressing defensively. I think he is only going to get stronger. At the plate I think he is going to get better and hopefully he brings more leadership as he gets older from his experience from playing for a while,” Adcock said.

Zachery Combest can be reached at 270-505-1754

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