Baseball look to upset undefeated Forney

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Baseball look to upset undefeated Forney

Senior Matthew Almy tagging a player at second base.

Senior Matthew Almy tagging a player at second base.

Carter Bryant

Senior Matthew Almy tagging a player at second base.

Carter Bryant

Carter Bryant

Senior Matthew Almy tagging a player at second base.

Matthew Fisher, Staff Reporter

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After a 4-2 loss on Tuesday, the baseball team (3-2) will have another chance to hand the Forney Jackrabbits (5-0) their first district loss at home tonight at 7 p.m.

“We plan to focus on the aspects of last game that we did well and look to improve on the things that we didn’t do so well,” junior Luke Howell said. “Our plan is to come out on Friday with the same amount of confidence as Tuesday and do our best to play clean and get the win.”

Players reflected on Tuesday’s loss and found areas for improvement in preparation for the rematch.

“What kind of cost us was the walks,” junior Jacob Eschler said. “We got them on base and they got hits which they then ended up scoring. Stuff like little things cost us the game.”

However, through their loss they had some positive moments like a solo home run from sophomore Jacob Terwilliger.

“Our pressure on the plate worked really well,” senior Will Nopper said. “They have two really good pitchers, and so we worked on hitting the fastball during practice and we hit pretty well in the game against their ace.”

Friday the Jackrabbit’s will have 6-4 junior and A&M commitment Jonathan Childress on the mound.

“The plan to get hits is to focus on fastballs and try to lay off their off-speed,” Howell said. “On Monday we worked hitting 90-plus (pitches) off the machine, so we were prepared for what was to come on Tuesday. Our confidence from hitting Forney’s Tuesday starter with success should carry over to Friday, and we hope to have a success against Childress as well.”

While Forney has Division 1 caliber pitchers, the Leopards plan to take advantage of Jackrabbits’ lower batting average.

“Throw in the strikezone, make them put it in play,” Nopper said. “We played a clean game of defense [Tuesday]. So as long as we make them put it in play the defense will do the rest.”

Forney is ranked seventh in the state according to  txhighschoolbaseball.com, so playing a strong team early in district could be helpful.

“If we beat them then we’re out there and known,” Eschler said. “If we lose, it’s kind of expected from others because they have the advantage. Beating them will be a big confidence booster.”

Howell said the team is hoping to pull the upset tonight.

“We plan to focus on their pitcher’s fastball and not be intimidated by his high velocity,” Howell said. “Our approach defensively is to eliminate errors and for our pitchers to throw strikes to give our defense a chance to stop them. Our approach offensively is to hit the fastball early in the count and put the ball in play, which worked for us on Tuesday. If we go out on the field Friday with a presence of high confidence and swagger, we’ll have a high chance of leaving with a win.”

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