Pharis brothers relishing one year to play together
By Gary Lloyd
You’ve heard of brothers fighting in the home when they grow up, sometimes called a cage match.
Will Pharis and Carter Pharis have cage matches, but they’re helping each other, not hurting.
They’re in the batting cage, working to make each other better baseball players.
The brothers start for the Hewitt-Trussville baseball team. Will is a senior first baseman, Carter a shortstop who is the only sophomore starter. They’ve never played together because of the two-year age difference, except for some travel ball.
They’re such different players. Will bats left-handed. Carters is a righty. Will doesn’t have a ton of speed. Carter is going to steal bases. Will is going to crank a home run over the right field fence. Carter will bunt for an infield single.
“They’re really different players for us,” said first-year Hewitt-Trussville head coach Jeff Mauldin.
Defensively, though, the brothers gel. When a hard ground ball is hit to Carter, he flings it smoothly over to Will at first, though sometimes Will has to get on Carter about soft throws. This may be their first year playing together on the same team, but they practice together all the time.
“I know his throws, and he knows where to throw it,” Will said.
Mauldin said it probably helps Carter to have Will at first base, since he’s a familiar face and Carter is the youngest starter on the team.
“That’s something you just can’t create,” Mauldin said. “It just happens. Defensively, you can see a comfort and confidence level.”
Carter credits Will, a Huntingdon College commitment, for a lot of his success on the diamond. They challenge each other here and there — who can get the most hits and who will make the best defensive plays.
“He’s challenged me a lot since I started playing,” Carter said. “He’s challenged me a lot to become the player I am today. He’s a huge influence on me.”
Despite bringing totally different attributes to the Hewitt-Trussville baseball team, the brothers have the same favorite baseball memory. It came in the Huskies’ home opener Feb. 26 against rival Clay-Chalkville, an 8-3 Hewitt-Trussville win. Will went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Carter had a sacrifice fly and made a few standout plays on defense.
“We both work hard at this sport,” Will said. “We both love it. We like to put our time into it. We’ve both been blessed to be on the same team and play together as brothers on the varsity.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.