LONE GROVE — Over the last two years, the Dickson Comets baseball team has gone from early playoff exits to perennial playoff contenders.

LONE GROVE — Over the last two years, the Dickson Comets baseball team has gone from early playoff exits to perennial playoff contenders.

With two straight district titles under their belts, the belief in Comet country is starting to grow. Now, the goal isn’t just about competing at regionals, it’s about earning more.

“We lost some seniors, and that’s never easy,” Dickson coach Stephen Sullivan said. “For some of these guys, summer is about taking that leadership role and grasping it. We’ve got a young core full of athletes coming up, so we’re wanting to see where they can help us out the most.”

In order to make it three straight district titles, the Comets will be looking inward to their core to fill the spots left by four graduating seniors from last season.

Dickson lost Zach Douthit, Thomas Johnson, Sam Herriott, and Colton Hunter to graduation.

Herriott, who will play college baseball for Randall University in Moore beginning this fall, finished his senior season with a .352 batting average along with a .457 on base percentage and a .636 slugging percentage. He also totaled 31 hits with 29 RBI and 35 runs scored.

Hunter finished his last season as a Comets player with a .313 batting average along with a .442 on base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage. He finished with 26 hits and 25 RBI.

Douthit led the Comets with a .419 batting average, .519 on base percentage and .674 slugging percentage. He also led the team with 34 RBI and was second in runs scored with 30. 

On the mound, Douthit threw 37.2 innings of work totaling 54 strikeouts, while allowing just 17 earned runs all season.

Johnson threw 41 innings of work for the Comets on the mound, allowing just 21 earned runs all season on 38 hits. 

However, one of the returning players this season for the Comets will be junior catcher Rusty Beard, who had a .353 batting average last year with a .466 on base percentage and a .482 slugging percentage. 

Beard also had 23 RBI with 25 runs scored in 85 at bats and led the team with 12 stolen bases.

He along with Mason Marks will be just a couple of the players second year head coach Stephen Sullivan will be depending on to improve from his first season when the Comets went 12-18 overall.

“Rusty is a captain and a catcher for us, and Mason had a big year last season for us,” Sullivan said. “We’ve also got Cameron and Tyler McCord, who I’m also looking at to step up for us. Hunter Palesano is also going to be an impact player for us. He went from an .053 batting average to a .250 average last year which is huge. Those guys and several others are going to be looked at to step up this season.”