PIEDMONT—After capping the season with a region championship, Wren High baseball coach Randy Thompson said he believes his team is in perfect position to make a run in the playoffs.
The 19-6 Hurricanes head into the postseason with a number one seed and guaranteed home field advantage.
“We’ve had some success this year, and we’ve had some down moments that made us enjoy the success a little more,” Thompson said. “We finished up 19-6 overall and 11-2 in the region. That was important for us because we’re in one of the strongest regions in the state. It has been a pretty successful season.”
Wren’s most important region win came against Belton Honea Path for the championship last week.
“We played BHP for the region championship and were fortunate enough to win that game 10-3 at Flour Field,” Thompson said. “That secured the number one seed for us and gave us a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs.”
Thompson said his team has seen plenty of success in 2013, and a lot of that success can be attributed to veteran leadership.
“Irving Roper, Chase Day, Eli White, Tucker Norris Cam Gilreath and Justin Allen have had outstanding senior seasons,” Thompson said. “Justin tore his ACL so that hurt us, but he’s on the mend and he’s starting rehab this week. This is a senior led team and they have certainly done their part to get us in a good position.”
As for the playoffs, Thompson said his team will be ready to hit the field this Friday as Wren takes on Woodruff at 7 p.m.
“We’ve been trying to get them prepared for Friday,” Thompson said. “We’ve kind of been in playoff atmospheres for the past two weeks because of how tough our region is. That has helped to prepare us, but we’ve got a group that has tasted the playoffs for all four years they’ve been here.”
Being the number one seed has its advantages. One of those advantages, Thompson believes, will be very evident Friday night.
“We’re awfully proud of the place we play,” Thompson said. “We feel like we’re pretty good at our place so it is excited to be guaranteed home field advantage. We’ve got a great supporting community, but it’s really about the pride of not letting someone come in your backyard and steal a game. We’ve got a sense of confidence at home.”
Thompson said he hopes his team can get past some hurdles that have held the team back in recent years.
“We’ve always seemed to get to the district championship but we’ve never been able to get passed it because of a break here or there,” Thompson said. “Our guys are eager to get that behind us and get through one of these districts. We’re learning to play better as a group and winning the region was a big step for us.”
Part of learning to play better as a group includes adopting a team-oriented mentality, Thompson said.
“We’re seeing kids celebrate each other’s success, and that’s something we’ve been preaching all year,” Thompson said. “When you’re to the point where you’re getting just as excited about your teammates success as you are about your own success, you’re going to get where you need to be. That mentality is definitely there.”