Meet Ashland’s next great hitter: incoming junior Eric Carlson.
He managed to stay under the radar during the spring as one of several youngsters to earn playing time on the varsity squad, but this summer Carlson has established himself as the most dangerous batter in the Ashland Pilots’ lineup. The utility infielder – he can do a little bit of everything, including pitch – is batting .473 with seven doubles, two triples and 21 RBIs for the American Legion A Pilots, who were 14-7 heading into tonight’s doubleheader at Grants Pass. That batting average is better than any other Pilot by a whopping 86 points.
Having watched Carlson play since Little League, I’m not surprised by that video game stat line. He’s always had a quick bat, good timing, the ability to go opposite field and he can run. He’s put it all together this summer, uncorking the kind of breakout Legion season that often leads directly to varsity success (see former Grizzly greats Sam Gaviglio, Ian Kendall, Garrett Tygerson, Ethan Schlecht, and so on).
Also hitting well for the Pilots are Ryan Bottimore (.387 ba, 19 RBIs, 10 doubles), part-timer Steen Fredrickson (.368 ba, 15 RBIs, four triples) and Tommy Hulick (.351 ba, four doubles).
The top pitcher is Jack Carroll, who’s 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 22 innings. He’s struck out 28 batters with 12 walks. Carter Glick has a lower ERA (1.27) in half the number of innings and remarkably has struck out 19 batters without issuing a single walk.