FHS Wildcats ready to battle with Sweet Water

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Florala Wildcats (10-8) will travel to Sweet Water on Friday to take on the Bulldogs in the opening round of the AHSAA Class 1A baseball state playoffs.

“The kids have really bought in and believe in what we are trying to do,” Florala head coach Tyler Zessin said. “This is a veteran team that hasn’t had a lot of success in the past few years in baseball. They went winless in 2017, won seven games last year and we have won 10 games this year. We scheduled up this year and have really been competing in area games when it counted.”

Zessin said he knows it will be a challenge, but he knows his players will give them a chance to win.

“We are playing Sweet Water and they are the defending state champions,” Zessin said. “They lost seven players off of that team, but we know they are going to be well coached. We are a good team and I believe we are going to have the opportunity to win the series.”

Playing sound baseball is something that Zessin said would be key to winning the series.

“I think it’s going to come down to who makes less mistakes,” Zessin said. “We are a good team when we throw strikes and don’t make mistakes on defense. We have to limit errors and execute pitches on the mound. Who ever steps and competes in the those areas is probably going to win the series.”

Zessin said that his Wildcats have the mentality to win the series.

“We have taken the mentality of next man up,” Zessin said. “Next guy at the plate, next guy on the mound or next guy in the field. At bat, don’t be the guy that ends the inning. Keep it going and give the next guy a chance to keep it going. We have to fight every at bat, every pitch and every play. Get it to the next gave and give us a chance to win.”

The Wildcats can’t be overwhelmed by the playoffs, Zessin said.

“This group has never been to the playoffs,” Zessin said. “We are going to treat it like an area game. We have had tough area this year and we really competed well in area play. If we come in with that type of intensity, I feel confident in our ability to win the series.”

Florala and Sweet Water will play on Friday in Sweet Water.

Game one of the series is set for 2 p.m.

Game two is scheduled for 4 p.m., and if needed game three will be played at 1 p.m., on Saturday.

Florala takes on defending champion Sweet Water in the opening round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
Josh Dutton/Star-News