After two state-finals losses, Blessed Trinity looks to establish dominance

Blessed Trinity's Andy Harlin (left) coaches third base.

Spring is here, and Blessed Trinity is back in its usual form. At the start of the 2016 season the Titans were coming off back-to-back state titles in Class AAA. The next two seasons saw different results as the team managed to advance to the finals but fell short both times, first to Westminster and then to Marist after their shift to Class AAAA. Now several weeks into the 2018 season, the Titans are No. 1 and look primed for another title run.

The team has made major adjustments to account for the loss of several key seniors from last season. Three pitchers from the starting rotation graduated and moved on to college ball: Peyton Glavine (Auburn), Patrick McNamara (Presbyterian) and Cole McNamee (Wake Forest). Taking their place on the mound is no easy challenge, but senior Clark Dearman has taken full advantage of his time on the field. The senior left-handed pitcher has earned four of the team’s 12 wins this season, with a current ERA of 0.86 and 13 strikeouts so far. Dearman will be joining McNamara at Presbyterian next season.

Another position in need of filling was the role of shortstop. Last year’s senior David Dunn, who ended the season with a stellar batting average of .401 along with 59 hits, went on to play at Northwestern. This season, C.J. Abrams shifted over from second base to take command of the infield.

Despite having to make up for the loss of multiple talented graduates, head coach Andy Harlin had no fear trusting his players to step up and take on the challenge.

“They’re MMA fighters,” Harlin said. “They take on every challenge. It’s not always going to be sunshine and lollipops.”

Even with a slightly altered lineup, the Titans’ production remains the same. Their 12-1 record includes solid wins against Walton, Cartersville, Parkview, last year’s Class 7A state champs Etowah, and last year’s Class 5A state champs Loganville. This past weekend, the Titans defeated Providence (Fla.) 11-8 in the prestigious Perfect Game High School Showdown in Emerson, Ga., after falling to that team last year in the finals of the event.

Blessed Trinity will look to keep up its domination on the diamond as the Titans approach the middle of the season.

“We’re a day-to-day team,” Harlin said. “Our goal is to have a good practice today. When that’s done, we’ll move on to tomorrow. It’s a day-to-day thing, one thing at a time. You have to take things in small doses.”

Next, the Titans will take on West Forsyth this Thursday at home.

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