Eagles practice ‘laid back,’ will be ready for Sweet Water

Published 12:02 am Friday, April 20, 2012

Pleasant Home’s Hunter Odom throws to first base. Odom has been a valuable member of the Eagles team this season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Amidst the clank of a baseball bat, the unmistakable sound of laughter was heard among the Pleasant Home Eagles.

And, it wasn’t out of the ordinary on Wednesday afternoon.

The Eagles were preparing to face Sweet Water today in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs, focusing on hitting in the batting cage.

But, all week, PHS has been splitting up into groups and holding scrimmages to get amped up for the game.

PHS coach Cody McCain said the Eagles will match up well with Sweet Water this year. PHS faced Sweet Water in the first round last year.

“I thin we’re a little bit better,” McCain said. “I think we’ll match up a little bit better with them. We hadn’t gotten as many wins lately as I’d hoped for, but really, in the past six games, I felt like we’ve played real well, except may be one of those games.”

The Eagles are 10-12 on the season entering the best 2-out-of-3 series, which is slated to begin today at 4 p.m. The second game today will start at around 6 p.m. The “if necessary” game tomorrow will start at 11 a.m. if both split on the first day.

“As long as we play the ball and play good defense, we should win both games,” PHS senior Hunter Weaver said. “We’ve just got to get our fielding better and hitting better.”

When asked what the mind set of the team is leading into the games today, McCain said the Eagles are just “tired of losing.”

“We talked about that after the game Monday,” he said. “We were just kind of tired of losing, but at the same time, we’re getting better efforts from people that we weren’t getting from the beginning of the year.”

An area the Eagles can hang their hat on and lean on to get them through some tough stretches is pitching.

Hunter Odom has pitched five complete games this season, and when Kaleb Powell gets his curve ball going, PHS will have a good chance, McCain said.

“I think we’re better from this year compared to last year,” McCain said.

Weaver said the team’s laid back attitude will help today because it will enable them to not just solely think about “winning.”

“We’ll try a lot harder to win the game,” he said.

Added McCain, “Sometimes with this group, the more they are like that, the better they go and play,” he said. “It’s been that way all year. When they tense up, they really go out and don’t play that well.”