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Athlete of the Week: Buford's Mason Gentry

Sophomore led top-ranked Wolves to 2 wins last week

POSTED: April 4, 2011 7:29 p.m.

Going into last week, the picture atop the baseball standings of Region 6-AA was murky, with three or four teams capable of securing the top seed before season's end.

After a 2-0 victory over Lovett on Tuesday, and an 11-5 win over Westminster on Friday, Class AA's top-ranked Buford (13-1, 7-0) seems to have cleared that picture.

The Wolves currently hold a 1/2-game lead over Blessed Trinity (7-1) for the top spot, and will face the third-ranked Titans on April 15 in Buford.

In the two Buford victories last week, sophomore Mason Gentry went 4 for 5, with a home run, a double, and five RBIs to lead the Wolves.

For his efforts, Gentry is The Times Athlete of the Week.

"This is (Gentry's) second year starting on varsity," Buford coach Tony Wolfe said, "and he's come a long way in terms of his consistency. As a freshman, he was pretty inconsistent, but he had so much power that he had to start.

"Now he's starting to figure out how to hit."

According to Wolfe, Gentry is 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, a size that cuts an imposing figure when he steps to the plate.

"A lot of pitchers try to throw around him, they try keep the ball away from him," Wolfe said. "So when he does get a pitch to hit, it's not usually a strike and he's had to learn how to take those kinds of pitches to the opposite field.

"He's learning. As he gets older, he gets more consistent."

During Gentry's freshman year on varsity, Buford went 20-9 and made it to the second round of state before being swept out by Pike County. Wolfe believes that the team's potential is even larger this year, as is Gentry's.

"We can go as far as we let ourselves," Wolfe said. "We have the talent and depth to win in the state tournament, it'll just depend on how hard we work from now until then."

This season, Gentry has played in the outfield and served as the designated hitter. He's hitting .433 with a team-high five home runs in 2011, and Wolfe believes the sky is the limit for Gentry's continued growth.

"As he continues to mature and his skill and approach to the game grow and improve, there's no telling what he's capable of," Wolfe said. "He's very coachable and he loves the game -he plays year-round- and we believe he has the potential to be pretty unbelievable."

Buford next hosts North Gwinnett at 1 p.m. April 9, with its next region game at 5:55 p.m. April 11 at Decatur.



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