By Thomas Sellers Jr.
CORDOVA — Who will be in the driver’s seat this week at the District 14-3A Baseball Tournament at USA Stadium.
After picking up a 18-4 win over district foe the Cordova Wolves April 23, Millington Trojan Head Coach Billy Davis hopes his crew is ready to take over the front of the bus and gain control of the league.
“We’ve improved throughout the season,” he said. “So I’m looking forward to the district tournament. We’re getting hot at the right time. That’s what baseball is all about. Baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. You need to be hot the right time of the year. It’s district time and I think we’re going to peak at the right time.”
The Trojans entered the Cordova contest fresh off a 14-1 win over the MHEA Eagles. The Eagles were owners of impressive wins over teams like Bolton.
Millington brought that momentum into the Cordova Baseball Field and jumped out to a 7-0 lead after one-half inning. The Trojans first four runs came courtesy of walks or hit-by-pitch.
Millington players Tyler Harrison, Hunter Nolen, Calvin Hodges and Jerick Newsome all got free passes to first base to score teammates like Lucas Van Emelen, Dalton Darcey and Elliot Chapman.
Then the first RBI hit of the night came off the bat of Jaco Copeland scoring a run.
Van Emelen returned to the plate and placed down a bunt that drove in a run. And a pass ball scored the final run of the first for Millington.
“We were real selective at the plate,” Davis noted. “We had a pitcher going on the other side that didn’t throw many strikes. We were patient at our at bats tonight. We took the pitches that were balls and hit the pitches that were strikes tonight. We put together a lot of good at bats tonight.”
Cordova was able to chip into the Millington advantage in its half of the first inning with three runs. The Trojans scored four runs in the second inning and Millington starter Harrison settled down and kept the Wolves off balanced to go five innings.
A combination of patience and timely hits allowed the Trojans to add seven more runs to their total to win 18-4. Now with a couple of blowout wins under their belt Millington is looking to erase the memories of tough district losses because of one bad inning.
Davis said his players have the skills to be one of the two teams to drive over the finish line in May.
“Just pitching has to be seven innings strong,” he noted. “And we have to keep the wheels on the bus. A bad inning here or there, that’s what we’ve got to avoid. That big inning or bad inning we’re accustomed to having, lately we’ve been able to avoid those.
“We’re peaking at the right time. Let’s avoid the big inning and avoid making careless mistakes,” Davis concluded. “We have to minimize what we give them.”