Straughn, Opp set sights on winning

Published 12:01 am Thursday, April 18, 2013

Straughn coach John Fussell doesn’t believe his Tigers have reached their full potential.

That’s good because SHS will travel to face top-ranked and undefeated W.S. Neal tomorrow in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs in Brewton.

All during the week, the Tigers’ coach said he’s been reminding his players that the Eagles are undefeated, and that his team’s potential hasn’t been on display yet.

“They’ve got a good baseball team, and (we) haven’t played up to our potential all year,” Fussell said. “They don’t know what their potential is because we haven’t play to it. We lost some close games to some good teams.

“We’ve just got to find a way to win,” he said.

Straughn and WSN will play in a best-of-three series with two games tomorrow, and a if necessary game on Saturday. Tomorrow’s games start at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and 1 p.m. on Saturday for the third game.

WSN has eight seniors on the team when two years ago, got beat by a good UMS-Wright team in the third round while in Class 4A. Straughn was also in 4A, and went on to lose to the Bulldogs in the state semifinals in 2011.

Fussell said the main keys tomorrow are for his team to make the routine plays on the field and behind the plate.

“We’ve got to hit the ball on the ground,” he said. “We can’t hit pop flies and fly balls, and give them easy outs. We’ve got to put pressure on their defnse. We have some kids who can run — we’ve got lots of kids who can run.”

Opp (20-7) will also be playing its first round contests against Bayside Academy in a rematch from last year’s second round play.

The ninth-ranked Bobcats (20-7) will play at 4:30 and 7 tomorrow night, and at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday if necessary.