Wolves ready for Rapides

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

MONTEREY, La. &045; Like the U.S. Postal Service, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will prevent Monterey and Rapides from getting their Class B bi-district playoff game on this week.

Originally Wolves head coach Hank Zizzi wanted to play today to avoid showers that are forecasted for Friday, the day Rapides wished to play.

But late Wednesday it was decided: 3:30 p.m. at Monterey Friday. They’ll be the ones with the bats and gloves in their hands.

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Monterey ace Phillip Ryan (11-0, 2.37 Earned Run Average) is getting Zizzi’s nod against a team the coach still knows very little about.

&uot;I know they are scrappy to the end and have about three good hitters but that’s about it,&uot; he said. &uot;I was supposed to get some information (Wednesday), but the coaches were out to a district meeting.&uot;

The Wolves and Rapides, the fourth place team from district 7-B, shared one common opponent this season in Vidrine.

The Wolves shut out Vidrine 7-0 and Rapides knocked the same team off in district play to earn the wild card last week.

Ryan pitched with 102-degree fever last year against Vidrine in a first round playoff loss.

Zizzi said Rapides’ district opponents have naturally been not to forthcoming with details on the Mustangs because everybody wants to see their district perform better than every one elses.

&uot;I’ve told my team that this is a new season and it will start today or end today,&uot; he said. &uot;You’re not going to win or lose Friday, but you’ll win or lose in what you do to prepare for Friday.&uot;

The Wolves are anchored by their four seniors, including their top two stars in Ryan and catcher A.J. Smith &045; lifelong baseball addicts.

The atmosphere and energy created from pep talks and emotional speeches only last for one inning, Zizzi said.

What determines a winner or loser takes place on the field, he added.

&uot;To quote old phrases it’s either win or go home,&uot; Zizzi said. &uot;It’s now or never with us, especially since we have a large group of seniors.&uot;