Head coach Tyler Dent said he has seen a noticeable energy from his team this week as they have prepared for the game.
“To be honest with you, my guys yesterday and today, they’ve got a lot of energy about them,” Dent said. “We set a goal back in January and here we are in May and we’ve got an opportunity to do that. I told them there’s millions of athletes across the country that set goals and they come up short, but us, it’s a special thing that we get the opportunity to reach our goal. They get an opportunity to play for a state championship and that’s something millions of athletes don’t get to do.”
The Rebels face Lowndes Academy, who edged Autauga Academy in a third game 10-9 in their semifinal series.
Dent is very familiar with the opponent.
“I think it’s going to be a really evenly matched series,” he said. “Two of my really good friends coach for Lowndes. The assistant coach, [we] played together at AUM. The head coach was a grad assistant at AUM my junior year. So, I know they know the game really well. They’re going to be really well coached. They’re going to play the game the right way. They’re going to be a scrappy group of guys. The scouting report I’ve got on them says they’re a good hitting team, they’re fundamentally sound in the field, and they’re not going to blow the ball by us in pitching, but they’re going to throw a lot of strikes. So, we’re going to have to put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense. Just like in any other big game, we’re going to have to make plays, we’re going to have to throw strikes, we’re going to have to play the game the right way, put pressure on them, get guys in motion just like we’ve done all year.”
Experience often plays a role in how a teams fares in the playoffs. Dent did say having such a solid senior class and several players with a championship win under the belts could nothing but help his team.
“A lot of guys haven’t even been to the field, but a lot of my guys have and that’s a great thing to have,” Dent said. “I know there’s going to be nerves, there’s going to be jitters, there’s going to be butterflies; but having a few guys that have been there before, they’ve played in the game, they’ve won a state championship, that’s going to be crucial because other guys can feed off of them knowing we have guys that been there before. We have coaches that have been there before, and I feel like that’s going to help us a lot.”
Senior Allen Logan was key for the team in their series against Clarke Prep earning the win on the mound in game two and leading the way at the plate in game three, going three for five with two RBIs. Other hitters with solid performances in game three included: Bradley Harvell, who went two for five with an RBI; and Andrew Nelson, who finished the game one for three with an RBI.
CVA play Lowndes for a doubleheader with first pitch at Paterson Field in Montgomery set for 10 a.m. Should the series advance to a third game, it would be played Wednesday at 3 p.m.