Landrum: Team needs to learn to win

Published 1:41 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Robbie Landrum’s first year as the Bell County baseball coach wasn’t as successful as he had hoped. While the team improved their win total by one, the season was a learning experience for both the players and the new coach.

With one year under his belt and a favorable schedule, Landrum and the Bobcats will look to improve on last year’s record that saw Bell win only seven games.

“The kids are working really hard. We’ve had open session for a little while, and they’ve been working really hard,” said Landrum. “We’ve been working on our pitching (and) working on our catching. I can’t ask for anything else from the kids. I’ve had several show up in the offseason.”

The Bobcats return a junior-loaded team led by senior Jordan Wombles. The likes of Ethan Brock and Antonio Zachery also return — two players that helped Bell County defeat Pineville 11-4 last season in the mist of a four-game winning streak near the end of the year.

“We’ve got everybody back. I only loss a couple of kids — Victor Morris and Jordan Smith. Everybody else is back,” said Landrum. “I don’t know if we’re going to have any overpowering pitching, but I think we’re going to have to pitch by committee. We’re a junior loaded team. It looks like right now, we’re going to have two seniors.

“Hopefully, we get through this year and everybody gives 100 percent. Then just go from there. We have a pretty good schedule. We play a lot of games. Our school system, the school board and Mrs. (Yvonne) Gilliam has allowed us to get to go on spring break this year…to Virginia Beach for training.”

Landrum said he was very excited with the coaching staff because everybody is working hard. He said he is satisfied with what the team is doing and hopes they can bring it from the cage to the field this season.

Landrum also said he hopes the team will believe what they are coaching this season.

“Last year, (I was) a first-year coach (with a) first-year coaching staff. I hope — coming back with everybody and didn’t lose a lot of kids — that would be our strength,” said Landrum. “Our pitching, we’re going to have about eight pitchers. We’ve been pitching a lot in the offseason. I don’t want to say it’s our strength, but it definitely won’t be our weakness.”

As far as improving, Landrum said the team needs to learn how to win.

“They need to understand we can have a winning program. They’ve been successful in basketball up here, they’ve been very successful in football, and we’ve got as good of facilities as anybody,” said the second-year coach. “I don’t know if I’m the best coach around, but I know we’re working hard and that’s all I can ask my boys to do.

“They need to understand we can win. We’ve got a good schedule. Unfortunately, we’re not ready to play everybody in the region. I wish we were, but our kids need to learn how to win first.”

Bell County will open the season on March 20 at 5:30 p.m. at home against Thomas Walker, Virginia.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN