ACCS seems adept at coming back

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sometimes you just can’t ever count a team out no matter how bleak the situation looks.

Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit, but so far this season, the Adams County Christian School baseball team appears to be one of those teams that just doesn’t go away.

One saying I’ve heard that seems to apply to this Rebel bunch is, “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend.” If that’s the case, then the proof is in the fact that ACCS has had three comeback wins in just two weeks of play.

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It started on a chilly Tuesday night when the Rebels were playing Cathedral High School March 5 at Chester Willis field. Green Wave starter Austin Chauvin pitched six scoreless frames, giving his team a 3-0 lead going into the seventh.

But instead of the bullpen closing things out, ACCS exploded for six runs and eventually went on to win 6-4. After watching the Rebels seem unable to get anything going offensively, the ACCS batters rose to the occasion when an opportunity presented itself.

Then there was the Rebels’ March 9 matchup against Porter’s Chapel, in which ACCS trailed 6-0 early before even getting a chance to bat. But the offense slowly chipped away at the lead, and eventually overtook the Eagles 17-7 in six innings.

Finally, there was this past Tuesday’s game against Cathedral, in which the Rebels overcame a 9-4 deficit to win 10-9 in extra innings.

After the game, head coach Hunter McKeivier referred to his players as the heart attack kids, in reference to how on-edge the at-bats started getting each time the Rebels had a chance to overcome being down.

I have to wonder if Rebel fans prefer watching their team come from behind each game, or if they would prefer seeing ACCS get an easy win for a change.

Regardless, the fact that this group keeps finding ways to win bodes well for its future. After graduating seven seniors from last year’s squad, McKeivier and the rest of the coaches are holding onto hope that this younger group grows up quickly with district play beginning this week.

Having the intangible qualities to not give up is reminiscent of Centreville Academy’s state championship bid in 2011. The Tigers were three outs away from elimination in Game 2 of the state championship series against Simpson Academy that year. Centreville went on to win the final two games, and eventually a state title.

That’s not to say I’m predicting this group will one day win state. But it takes more than talent to go all the way, and these Rebels seem to have the intangible quality they need when talent alone isn’t good enough.

As happy as McKeivier is that his team never gives up, he was also quick to point out that his team still had something to improve on. Specifically, giving up the big inning that forces them to come back in the first place.

“We have to learn to avoid the quicksand and not let things snowball,” McKeivier said after the team’s win Tuesday. “Whenever we see the momentum shifting, we have to get back to the fundamentals and make a play.”

It’s a coach’s job to keep his players honest, so McKeivier isn’t about to talk them up too much. But I imagine he feels a lot of pride that such a young team seems to have already developed a lot of character.