Red Level to host Georgiana Friday in playoffs

Published 9:31 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Red Level High School’s baseball won the Class 1A, Area 2 regular season championship and will host the Georgiana Panthers for round one of the AHSAA Class 1A state playoffs on Friday, weather permitting.

“We are excited about being in the playoffs and winning our area,” Tigers’ head coach Tony Ingram said. “But we aren’t satisfied with just being in. We don’t want to stop here.”

It won’t be an easy first round for the Tigers, as the Panthers have one of the top pitchers in 1A, Ingram said.

“The Sheffield kid (Matthew) at Georgiana is one of the toughest pitchers in the state,” Ingram said. “He isn’t easy to hit, at all. We will have to make all the little plays, and do all the little things right for us to win the series.”

Ingram said that his Tigers have the ability to beat the Panthers, and they have been on a roll as of late and putting things together at the right time.

“Since the middle of the March we have been on a roll,” Ingram said. “We are making all the little plays, and doing the little things right. And in baseball, that is all it takes sometimes. It’s going to be tough, but we just have to take care of Red Level.”

Senior Jerran Williams has been a leader for the Tigers this season, Ingram said.

“He isn’t a guy who is very vocal,” Ingram said of Williams. “But he leads by his actions, and the players look to him for leadership. He is a guy who we have leaned on a lot.”

One of the things that Ingram credits the Tigers’ recent success to is how much the players have matured during the season.

“Our maturity has grown a lot since the first game of the season,” Ingram said. “Guys aren’t getting down after errors or strikeouts. They are shaking it off and moving on to the next play, and that is big for high school kids. They have also realized that it doesn’t matter who we throw on the mound if they just play hard behind them then we always have a chance to win. Because of that, I don’t have to worry about who we are throwing. There isn’t much difference between our one, two and three pitchers, and I would never hesitate to throw any of them.”

Having versatile players is another thing that Ingram credits the Tigers’ success too.

“When you are in 1A or 2A you don’t have the luxury of saying that this guy only plays this position or that position,” Ingram said. “We have to have guys who can play all over, and we have those types of players on this team and that is huge for us.”

It isn’t just one of guys that have lead the Tigers to the postseason, Ingram said.

“This has been a total team effort,” Ingram said. “Even the guys that don’t play as much are pushing us in practice to get better, and they are just as big a part of this season as anyone else.”

Game one of the best-of-three series will be Friday at 4 p.m., with the second game starting around 6 p.m. If necessary, a third game will be played Saturday at 1 p.m.