• 55°

Saints gearing up for regionals

“Back to spring training” is at the top of the agenda for the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Saints baseball team as they clinched the right to play in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Southeast Regional tournament in Martinsville, Va., after defeating Northwest Florida State College last Thursday night, 11-7.

For the past two weeks, Saints head baseball coach Steve Helms said the team has been getting ready for the tournament by working on pitching.

“What we’re going to do now and what we have been doing these last two weeks is try to prepare as many pitchers as we can for the tournament,” Helms said. “We may have a guy going out there that’s throwing well, but we may have a plan to make sure everybody gets so many innings.

“We’re treating this time basically like spring training in major league baseball to prepare for the regional tournament,” he said. “That’s where we are in this part of the season.”

The Saints (28-13) will have the opportunity to improve in their pitching rotation until Sunday, when they will travel to play the LSU-Eunice Bengals in Baton Rouge, La.

LBWCC has 13 pitchers in its rotation, and Helms said each has pitched in double digit innings.

“That’s hard to get that many pitchers that many innings,” he said. “So, we’ve had that as a plan to prepare as many as we can.”

The last time the Saints played the Bengals, they won one game and lost two in the three-game series.

After the series against the Bengals, the Saints will come back to play two games next week, against Enterprise State on Tuesday in Andalusia and on the road against Alabama Southern.

“We’re just trying to make sure our staff — most of them — get two outings in the next five games just to prepare for the tournament,” Helms said.

Helms said he will start Baton Rouge native and left-hander Jeffery Enloe in tonight’s game, and Opp native and righty Cody Hall in Sunday’s game.

A pitcher for Saturday’s game is yet to be announced, Helms said.

Helms said that he is very happy with where the team is right now on the season.

“We’re going to put some guys out there and see what they’re made of,” he said.

As far as practice, Helms said they have been used for “clean up” purposes.

“We’ve been working since we’ve clinched and have gone back to the basic practices and cleaning up mechanics and swings,” he said. “We’re basically going back to a spring training type atmosphere. Hopefully, we’ll be playing plenty good when we go to Virginia.”

Game times for tonight and Saturday are at 6 p.m. Sunday’s game will be at 1 p.m.