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Saints ready for World Series

The No. 2 Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Saints will begin their journey today to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series in Enid, Okla.

LBWCC recently returned from North Carolina, where the Saints were the Region 10 champions.

The Saints (47-9, which ties the school record for the most number of wins) were initially invited to the regional tournament in North Carolina and started as a No. 2 seed.

LBWCC coach Steve Helms said he was happy with the way the team fought back to win the regional championship.

“What I’m proud of most was that we fought back out of the losers’ bracket which showed our kids’ true colors and true character,” Helms said. “If I could say one thing about the difference with this team and other teams is that our character of our players is outstanding and I think that’s what carries us.

“It’s a good group of kids that like each other and are a good group of kids.”

Helms said the aspects of the game that have contributed to the team’s success include both a strong offense and solid pitching.

“Out there at the regional tournament offensively we scored 59 runs in six games,” he said. “We had outstanding pitching out there from a lot of different guys. We went six games and didn’t repeat a starter.

“With our pitching right now I think right now we’re playing good baseball,” he said.

Helms said the team can be successful if they play to their “potential.”

“Looking at our side of the bracket, four out of the five best teams in the country are on our side of the bracket,” Helms said. “Of course, we’re going to have to play up to our potential. If we do that, then we’ll be real successful out there. We’ve got the talent and we’ve got the character to win.”

The World Series will be in a double-elimination format and the Saints’ first game is this Sunday at noon against Scottsdale.

Helms added he is “excited” about the opportunity for the kids to play at the World Series.

“I’m just excited for the kids,” he said. “They are just such a good group of guys. You don’t get this group of tightness. You get this once out of 10 years. If we lose, it’s not because we didn’t give effort out there.

“I would like to thank the community that has supported us,” he said. “I would also like to thank our administration and our faculty, especially my assistant coaches. Brandon Ware, Chris Hutchinson and Chuck White.”