Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 5 West Lauderdale


Ronald Sims
Mississippi Scouting Director

The Mississippi high school season kicks off on February 26, the first day for regular season games. Most teams will begin practicing on January 29, getting their rosters set and finalizing their lineups.

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will be posting high school team previews every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: West Lauderdale

Preseason Rank: 5
2017 Record: 33-3
MHSAA Classification: 4A
MHSAA District:
Head Coach: Jerry Boatner
Playoff Run: 4A State Championship
2017 Final Rank: 1st 4A
Returning Starters: 3
Returning Pitchers: 4

 

Top Players

Name State School Class Position Commitment
Chance Denson MS West Lauderdale 2018 RHP
East Mississippi CC
Hunter Eldridge MS West Lauderdale 2018 RHP
Mississippi State
Ben Ethridge MS West Lauderdale 2019 RHP
Southern Miss
Kameron Partridge MS West Lauderdale 2019 RHP
Chase Tilghman MS West Lauderdale 2018 C
Jones County JC

 

Stat Rat (X-Factor)

Hunter Eldridge (.369-BA, 26-RBI, 9-2B, 2-HR)(1.35-ERA, 33-K, 5-BB)
Chance Denson (.359-BA, 25-RBI, 9-2B, 2-2B) (1.71-ERA, 94-K, 22-BB)
Chase Tilghman (.250-BA, 20-RBI, 3-2B)
Kameron Partridge (0.26-ERA, 35-K, 5-BB)
Ben Ethridge (0.83-ERA, 49-K, 18-BB)

 

Outlook

The West Lauderdale Knights have their eyes set on another strong season in 2018, to end a historic career for head coach Jerry Boatner. The Knight’s team won 33 games in 2017 and hoisted the 4A state championship trophy. Although recently being hit with the injury bug, Coach Boatner's team can always rely on strong defensive play and depth on the mound to carry them throughout the 2018 campaign. Headlining the pitching staff will be 2019 Southern Mississippi recruit, Ben Ethridge and 2019 RHP/2B Kameron Partridge. Ethridge is a right-hander who saw a ton of action throwing 42.1 innings his sophomore season, pitching in the mid to upper 80’s with his fastball. Partridge is another mid to upper 80's right handed arm that impressed in 2017, logging 35 strike outs while only walking five hitters all season. Both Eldridge and Partridge will have more significant roles now that 2018 RHP/SS Chance Denson and 2018 RHP Hunter Eldridge will both see limited time this year, if any, due to injury.

Look for Jones County JC recruit, Chase Tilghman to hold down the duties behind the plate and work with the pitching staff as they look to solidify the rotation. Tilghman, a participant at the MS All-State Games, will provide rock solid leadership and defense but will be expected to have a bigger impact at the plate in 2018.

With the culture Coach Boatner has built and fundamental defensive play as well as talented players spanning across all three classes, the Knights should be able to fight off the injuries and have a chance to make another deep playoff run.


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