Rivals face each other with district title in sight

Published 1:10 am Monday, April 6, 2009

NATCHEZ — Rivalry games are usually intense, but when the rivals are fighting for first place in the district, it makes the fire even hotter.

That’s the case when Adams County Christian faces off against Trinity Episcopal on the baseball diamond this week.

The two teams will play one game Tuesday night at Chester Willis Field and then will play a varsity doubleheader Friday night at ACCS.

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ACCS finds itself in first place in District 3-AA with a 4-1 record while Trinity is in second with a mark of 6-3.

“These two schools have been rivals since before my time,” ACCS coach Hunter McKievier said. “If you can’t get up for a rivalry game, then what can you get up for?”

Trinity won all three meetings against the Rebels last year, but one of them was in extra innings and another was by one run.

Those stinging losses have left ACCS waiting a year to take some revenge.

“We’ve got a little sour taste in our mouths from last year that we would like to go away,” McKeivier said. “Our main goal for the year is to be district champions. We’re sitting in good shape but we’ve got plenty of games left we’ve got to take care of business in. Trinity is three of those games that we have to focus and play our best.”

The games are extra important for the Saints, whose second place position could swing wildly depending on the results this week.

“We could go anywhere from first place to third or fourth place this week,” Trinity coach Matt Mason said. “It’s important we take two out of three this week.”

And in order for the Saints to win the series, Mason said they will have to use their speed.

“We’ve got to put the ball in play,” Mason said. “If we put the ball in play our speed can make a difference. We’ve got to limit the number of strikeouts and do a good job of hitting with two strikes.”

McKeivier is anticipating Trinity’s speed game, which is why he ran his team through defensive drills in Sunday’s practice.

The Rebels have been spotty defensively this season, including a game last week in which they committed six errors.

“We talked about consistency on the defensive end,” McKeivier said. “We’ve got to make defensive plays, especially with the team speed of Trinity. One of their greatest attributes is their team speed.”

This might be the last time the two schools meet in an athletic event for awhile.

The Saints are dropping down into Class A next season and the two schools haven’t agreed to play each other once that happens.

“This is possibly the last time we’ll be playing them,” Mason said. “I know (ACCS) will play their best ball and we will too. Our boys are motivated and they want to end this rivalry on a good note.”