Hornets raise the stakes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2006

The Chelsea Hornets baseball team has seen its share of success over the past couple of years.

The Hornets have amassed a record of 46-9 and made two-straight trips to the Class 4A playoffs.

So why are they unhappy?

Senior pitcher and right fielder Douglas Pate summed up his team&8217;s frustrations in four word.

&8220;I want a ring,&8221; he said.

Despite their winning ways, the Hornets have been eliminated in the second round of the playoffs the past two season. It&8217;s a statistic CHS head coach Chad Horn would love to forget.

&8220;We&8217;ve met our quota in the regular season,&8221; Horn said. &8220;We keep going to the second round and getting stuck there.&8221;

By &8220;quota&8221;, Horn is referring to two-straight years of the Hornets going 6-0 in their area and earning back-to-back 20-win seasons.

&8220;This is &8216;the goal&8217; for the season,&8221; Horn said. &8220;It has to be the next step.&8221;

If anyone is going to help the Hornets reached that goal, it will be Pate.

The senior captain has started for the squad the past two seasons, finishing his junior year with a .440 batting average and 32 stolen bases on offense.

Pate said he takes the most pride in his pitching, however.

He finished with a 9-2 record for the season with 72 strikeouts and a 1.24 ERA.

&8220;I felt really good last season,&8221; Pate said. &8220;And I feel even better this season.&8221;

Pate said he feels like a 4A state title is not too far of a stretch for the Hornets squad.

&8220;I want this senior class to go a step further than any other class has in the past,&8221; he said. &8220;I want to help get Chelsea on the map.&8221;

Everything seems to be going to plan for the Hornets early in their 2006 campaign. Chelsea currently stands with a 6-0 record