It’s ‘big game’ time

Published 12:03 am Friday, April 20, 2012

Opp’s Trey Short (9) leads his team in batting with a .479 average. The Bobcats will face seventh-ranked T.R. Miller tonight in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Bobcats to face No. 7 T.R. Miller tonight in 1st round

Trey Short may be a player of few words, but that’s OK, he lets his bat do the talking.

Growing up in Covington County, with its many dirt roads, Short said his earliest memory is of him hitting rocks with a broom handle.

Nowadays, Short uses the standard-issued bats the athletic association requires players to use.

And it hasn’t slowed him down.

Short, a senior, will try and help lead the Opp Bobcats to a first-round win over T.R. Miller today at Merchant’s Field in the Class 3A state playoffs.

“Big game,” he said.

Short leads his team in batting with a .479 average. The closest player to Short in hitting is fellow senior T.J. Register, who has a batting average of .456.

As a team, the Bobcats hold a batting average of .347, and will need to use every bit of it against T.R. Millers junior pitcher Kevin Davis.

Davis is being highly recruited by colleges, and will more than likely declare for the Major League draft, OHS coach Michael Cassady said.

“He’s a special kid,” Cassady said. “They just don’t have him. They have some special baseball players. They have some good kids. It’s going to be a tough task.

“Once you get in the playoffs, there’s no easy task,” he said. “We won the area, and this runner up is no slouch.”

T.R. Miller (17-7) is ranked No. 7 in the state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, and has been as high as No. 2 this season.

Cassady said he knows the Tigers will throw Davis in the first game, which is slated to start at 5 tonight, and he said he’s reminded his players that it’s not the best of one, but the best of three. The second game tonight will start around 7:30 p.m., and the “if necessary” game on Saturday is slated for 2 p.m.

“We’re going to have to be patient at the plate and not get frustrated,” he said.

Short said patience is huge when you’re behind the plate, looking for that right pitch.

“You can’t be too anxious,” Short said. “You’ve got to be aggressive.”

Short said he got to become such a power-hitter when he would go and watch his brother play at the complex.

“I just stayed up there and watched them,” he said.

Ever since the Straughn doubleheader, Opp has played five game, and in those five games, the Bobcats have “lost” one inning, Cassady said.

And “winning every inning” has been a motto since then, he said.

“We’re not looking down to win every inning,” Cassady said. “We want them to hey, ‘let’s win this one. We’ve got to win two to win this (game).’

“Our kids are starting to respond behind it,” he said. “It’s been a good little thing for us.”

Added Short, “Everybody’s just got to go all out — every play.”