Eagles looking to soar in playoffs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

0415 spt Garrett Barton tags out Jeffery Perdue

Pleasant Home is looking to make a run in the AHSAA Class 1A state baseball playoffs, and it all begins Friday when the Eagles travel to J.U. Blacksher for round one.

The Eagles (7-6) and Blacksher split games during the regular season, and that win gives the Eagles much needed confidence heading into the playoffs.

“We have played them twice and won one and lost one,” Eagles’ head coach Chris Mason said. “For us to match up with a team that we have beaten this season, we will have confidence that we can win. But at the same time, so will they.”

Mason said that the key for the Eagles to get a win in round one would come down to pitchers throwing strikes, fielders eliminating routine errors, and they will have to do a better job hitting than they have been lately.

“If we can win 2-of-3 aspects of the game, we can the series,” Mason said. “It won’t be easy, because Blacksher is a very fundamentally sound team. We don’t do anything that’s really great, but we are a very scrappy bunch. We are learning how to win right now. Winning is a habit, but so is losing. Right now, we are working on breaking that habit, and changing the mentality around here. Making the playoffs is a great way for us to establish that mentality. I want them to feel like they can win every time they step on the field.”

The Eagles begin the season with one main goal, Mason said, and that goal was to make the playoffs.

“We started the season with goal of making the playoffs,” Mason said. “Now that we have made it in, our goal now is to get to the next round. We just want to make small goals that are attainable, and we will grow from there. We are capable of making a run in the playoffs, and I want the kids to realize that.”

Mason said that the Eagles have relied a lot on Garrett Barton and his versatility to get to this point.

“Garrett is one of our top pitchers,” Mason said. “And when he isn’t on the mound he does a great job at catcher or in the field. Along with being one of our top two pitchers, he is also one of the top hitters. R.D. Clark has also done a great job on the mound for us. They have been our go-to guys on the mound all season.”

The first two games of the series are scheduled for Friday beginning at 2 p.m., with a third game on Saturday at 1 p.m., if necessary.