SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Winning and playoff runs are contagious inside of the Sylacauga High School athletics department.
Last Friday night, the Sylacauga Boys baseball team (22-5) went on the road to Valley High School and won a best-of-3 series 2-0. The first game against Valley was a pitchers dual with the Aggies coming out on top 2-0 in 8 innings. The Aggie bats heated up in the second game, leading to a 10-2 victory and a ticket to the second round of the playoffs.
Sylacauga Head Coach Jeff Bell attributed the first round wins to his pitching staff. “Our guys pitched two really good games,” he said. “A blueprint for every championship team is good pitching and a few of our guys have been dominant all year long.”
Bell mentioned Andrew Schmidt and Tyler Thompson as the top performers on the mound for his ball club. “Our core of starting pitching has been very good for us and they’ve kept us in nearly every game this season.”
In his first season as the Aggies manager, Bell will get to say he was able to host a home playoff series at his newly renovated stadium. The Aggies missed the playoffs in the 2016 and 2017 seasons before a coaching change was made and Bell was hired. Bell explained he made changes in the first meeting he had with the team, a lot of those changes dealing with the mental aspect of the game.
“I think it started with the first time I sat down with our guys. I had to instill a certain mindset in them in the fall,” he said. “We had some grueling workouts in the fall that made them feel like they deserve to win because they worked so hard for it. I think they believed that, and they certainly go out and play like it.”
On Friday in Sylacauga, the first pitch of the second round will be thrown out against the Demopolis Tigers at 5:00. The Tigers defeated Marbury in three games over the weekend. Bell told SylacaugaNews.com he is still working on specific game plan as he continues to studies the Tigers, but knows it will be a tough contest. “Demopolis has played a solid schedule and they have a solid record. They’re normally a good sized team with a couple of good arms and a couple of big bats in the middle of the lineup. I know it’s going to be a tough series.”
You can listen to every game of the best-of-3 series on RadioAlabama’s Yea!106.5. Coverage will begin at 4:30 on Friday afternoon. If you are away from a radio, download the Yea!106.5 in your device’s app store.