May 1, 2009
If baseballs are going out to left or right field the Stowers brothers have them covered.
West Lowndes High School''s Ryan and Trevor Stowers have provided the defense necessary to keep the Panthers in games and have delivered key contributions to help them make the third round of the Mississippi High School Association Class A playoffs against Vicksburg St. Aloysius.
Trevor said he never knows when a play he makes in the outfield might be a difference in a game.
"You''ve got to have the big eye, be in a big spot and the right spot," Trevor said. "You never know where the baseball is going to be hit."
West Lowndes (20-6) takes pride in its defense, and coach Todd Stanley said Ryan, a sophomore, and Trevor, a freshman, have the tools a defensive player needs.
"They both have a lot of speed and can go get it," Stanley said. "They both have made several plays and key plays. Trevor has made some, not only the other night, but in other games. It''s important."
Ryan had one of the most notable plays of the season in a regular-season game at East Webster. With two runners on base and two outs in the fifth inning, Tanner Roberson hit a drive that appeared to be leaving the park. Ryan ran the baseball down in deep right field to save at least two runs, possibly three.
The Panthers won the Class 1A, Division 2 rivalry game 6-4.
In West Lowndes'' 2-0 second-round clinching victory against Edinburg, Trevor made a running catch to end the fifth with a runner on base.
"We try to make plays and get every baseball that comes to us," Ryan said. "It''s a matter of focusing on the game. You never know when (the baseball) is going to come, and you have to be alert."
Stanley likes having that the Stowers are playing such significant roles early in their careers, and has been pleased with how the team''s defense has come together.
"We work hard in practice on that kind of stuff and they take a lot of baseballs," Stanley said. "I tell my pitchers this is probably the best defense I''ve had since I''ve been here. We have pitchers who are going to throw strikes, so the other teams are going to put the ball in play."
West Lowndes plays host to St. Aloysius in the first game of the series at 6 p.m. today. The scene shifts to Vicksburg at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The visiting Flashes (22-3) have heard about the ability of the Panthers and expect a challenging series.
"We know they have athletes and are well coached," St. Aloysius coach Clint Wilkerson said. "Put those two things together and that makes them dangerous."
The Flashes showcase a deep pitching staff that could give the West Lowndes hitters trouble.
St. Aloysius has already defeated Class 2A squads St. Andrews and Forest this season.
Wilkerson said his club "scraps and tries to cause problems for opponents" as much as possible.