Trinity ready for Riverfield in playoffs

Published 12:24 am Monday, April 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — Even after making it past the first round of the MAIS Class A playoffs, Trinity head baseball coach Mitch Ashmore is saying the same thing.

But if his team wants to get even farther in the postseason, he said they would have to take what he’s saying to heart.

“I say this over and over again, but you have to drive it home: it’s the little things that get you beat, and the little things that help you win,” Ashmore said.

And Ashmore said he knows what specific little things he wants to focus on before the Saints face Riverfield in the second round of the playoffs.

“What we’re going to do is focus on getting ahead of people pitching-wise, knowing how we want to pitch to people and throwing to our spots,” Ashmore said. “Defensively, you’re going to make mistakes sometimes, even though we haven’t made a lot, but situational baseball is going to come into play as we move forward.”

As for offense, Ashmore said not taking what happened in the last at-bat into the next one is important for a hitter.

“Offensively, we’re going to focus on having good at-bats, and if you don’t, go on to the next one. Any kid can have a rough game, but you never know who’s going to come up in that crucial situation. You have to take every at-bat separately.”

Last week against Riverdale, the Saints went into the series not knowing a lot about their opponent. That won’t be a problem this week, Ashmore said.

“Coach (David) King and I went over and watched them play about three weeks ago,” Ashmore said. “They’re a senior-laden team, and their expectations for what they want to do are really high.

“They’re a good ball club. Every time you move up a round you’re going to see better and better people. We know the kids will be nervous, knowing the season’s over if we don’t get the best of two out of three. Our kids are smart and strong-willed, though, so hopefully we’ll be mentally ready to go.”

And despite making it past the first round, Ashmore said there were times where the mental aspect of the game was lacking against Riverdale.

“I wasn’t that happy with the way we played,” Ashmore said. “The stats won’t tell you that, but the mental part of it is all I concern myself with this time of the year. Physically, we won’t get better in two weeks, but mentally we can get better, and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish each series we go into.”

Game one of the series will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Rayville, La.