What was a great addition to the football team has turned out to be a tremendous gem for the Cairo baseball team.
When Steven Bench transferred to Cairo from nearby Bainbridge, the Syrupmakers landed their next quarterback. Cairo baseball coach Ron Best saw something else.
"I was excited for our football team and for Steven coming over here," said Best, whose team will host Howard this weekend in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs. "I had heard and watched him play a little in football. The football guys, coach (Tom) Fallaw was excited to get him, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, he can really make a tremendous difference for us on the baseball field as well. I was thinking more of him along the lines of a third baseman and maybe a relief pitcher, closing-type-of-a-guy pitcher. That's kind of what we had in our mind going into start of the season. Steven had in his mind he wanted to be a starting pitcher. I was obviously open for suggestions.
"He's done a fantastic job for us. Early on, he had a couple of starts and I brought him in relief a couple of times. He fit right in there with Chris Layton as kind of our 1A and 1B starting pitchers. He's just done a great job on the mound for us."
Bench's presence has eased the concern the Syrupmakers had of finding a No. 2 starter this year.
For full details, see Friday's edition of the Times-Enterprise.