Bearcats prepare for playoff series against Starr’s Mill

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2017

With the regular season over, the fourth-seeded Bearcat baseball team looks to ride their recent wave of success through the first round of the playoffs and beyond. They’ve been hitting on all cylinders recently, but they face stiff competition in the first round in one-seeded Starr’s Mill High School.

Starr’s Mill sits at 25-4 on the season and 18-0 in region 3-AAAAA. That seems intimidating compared to Bainbridge’s 17-11 and 5-7 in region one play, but the Bearcats are not intimidated by records or standings.

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Preparations are underway for the first round match-up, but the focus is on consistency, according to Bainbridge head coach Brian McCorkle.

“Our preparation will be pretty much the same,” said McCorkle. “We still have to throw it and catch it and hit it. Obviously, there are a few things we know they do, so we’ll take some extra reps there, but for the most part we’ll keep things the same.”

For the players, they are trying to approach this game as they would any other.

“Honestly not much differently,” said senior short stop Keith Lyle when asked about how players will prepare. “Every team is the same, we just look forward to getting better and trying to win.”

The recent momentum that the Bearcats have built up at the end of the season will be a major factor in their expectations for the playoffs. After winning seven of their last eight games, the Bearcats record on paper does not reflect their ability on the field.

Even with success, Bainbridge finds themselves in a David versus Goliath fight in the first round. According to McCorkle, the Bearcats will be ready.

“Our kids are going to play, they’ve played enough ball so they understand what’s at stake,” said McCorkle. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of motivation when you’re playing a number one seed.”

Squaring up against a one seed can seem like a daunting task, but the Bearcats are poised for an upset. In order to ride the momentum of the end of the season, the team must remain focused, a task that can be difficult at a young age.

“It’s definitely tough,” said Lyle, “but we have a good team here so we just keep pounding the mindset that we’re going to focus like any other team we play.”

With the first round being a doubleheader, winning game one will be crucial for the Bearcats. Setting the pace with a win off the bat will keep them from ever being in a hole in the series.

Coach McCorkle thinks that his team understands what’s at stake in game one, and believes that his teams approach to every game will help in their motivation for game one.”

“We’ll treat the all like we always do,” said McCorkle. “We wont talk to our guys about getting game one, we’ll just play the game and we preach winning as a rule so we’ll continue to go about it that way.”

For the players, the series represents the culmination of all of their efforts over the past few weeks, and if they want to advance they will have to rely on their improvements that they have made.

“We will have to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” said Lyle. “We’ve had good coaching and we’ve finally started clicking as a team. We just have to keep playing like we know how to.”

The doubleheader against Starr’s Mill will be played on Friday, with an additional game Saturday if need be.