‘Buying into’ system

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 1, 2012

Covington County’s Grayson Campbell swings at a pitch last Friday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Covington County 16-to-17-year-old Babe Ruth baseball coach Tyler Wilson said his team is “buying into” what he’s coaching on the diamond so far after some four games this season.

“They seem to be very receptive,” Wilson, who is coaching the team for the first time, said. “I told them the other day, I don’t expect them to make every play, but just play the game of baseball the way it’s supposed to be played.”

The county team played in the 15th annual Church’s Chicken Memorial Day Tournament last weekend in Opp, and finished 2-2. Covington County won the last two games against Opp and the Wiregrass Cardinals.

Despite the result, Wilson said he was pleased to see the players stay focused on what they had to do in the tournament, given the fact there were many times where the lead was given up during games.

“We made somewhere around eight or nine errors in the first game against Wiregrass,” he said. “With that many errors, we were still one error away from winning the game. We still had a chance after all of that.

“The kids, they still battled back with all of the errors and the stuff that was going on,” he said. “We still had a chance.”

In the last two wins, Wilson said the team played with confidence and made some big plays, including two double plays against Opp.

“They really never got down on themselves,” he said. “In the fourth game against Wiregrass, we just came out and played with confidence. Coming off of a big win against Opp, we just played with confidence that day.”

Wilson is a 2004 graduate of Andalusia High School. He was drafted to play for the Atlanta Braves and after four-and-a-half years, he was released to play with the Pensacola Pelicans, where he remained until 2009.

On Feb. 12, 2010, Wilson accepted an invitation to train with the Red Sox.

Wilson has been helping the baseball and softball teams at LBWCC since then.

The Covington County team is made up of nine players from Andalusia; two players from Florala; two players from Straughn; and one player from Pleasant Home.

The county team will play at Monroeville in a doubleheader tonight at 6.

When asked what he expects from the team, Wilson said it’s pretty simple.

“All I expect from them is to play the game the right way, and hustle,” Wilson said. “That’s all it is. That’s all I’m trying and a lot of these guys have been coached well, but I’m just carrying on reinforcing what they already know — hustling and playing the game the right way.”