With baseball season already under way, the Augusta Preparatory Day School Cavaliers are beginning the year in a nontraditional fashion.
In years past, the Cavaliers have often found themselves on the losing end of a blowout.
The players realize it. Augusta Prep catcher Watson Folk not-so-fondly recalled last season's 11-1 loss to Edmund Burke Academy.
"It was the worst game we may have played in our collective lives," he said.
"That game was rough."
The 2006 Augusta Prep baseball team hasn't reached powerhouse status, but the future is looking much brighter.
Augusta Prep lost by only three runs this year against Edmund Burke, and, after taking an 11-1 loss at the hands of Augusta Christian last season, the Cavaliers scored four runs against the defending South Carolina Independent Schools Association state champions on Monday, losing 8-4.
"Against these guys it's very encouraging," first-year Augusta Prep coach Dan King said.
"We've got to play everybody like they're state champions."
The Cavaliers also have found themselves in the win column this year.
With a pair of wins against Curtis Baptist and another over the Home-school Warriors, Augusta Prep has started the season with a 3-2 record.
The process to turn the baseball program around comes from King and several athletically minded Cavaliers. At least three Augusta Prep baseball players are three-sport athletes, and at least six play two sports each year.
King said that although playing several sports in a school year helps a student athlete stay in shape, it makes for a rushed preseason.
"This early, we've got half of the team that's been playing basketball," he said.
"We haven't had many practices together."
Still, King has made a few adjustments to help propel the team into the new season. Last year's lead-off hitter, Brad King, has dropped down to the second spot, and shortstop Morgan Spencer has taken the lead-off role.
The Cavaliers have several options on the mound, including Trey Minor, a three-sport athlete who gave up only one run and struck out five in four innings against Augusta Christian.
"I hope I don't have a No. 1 guy. I hope I have five pitchers who can all do a good job," King said.
Augusta Prep will play host to John Milledge for a Region 4-AAA contest on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
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