By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Brad Smith has build a winning program at Tipton-Rosemark Academy.
At this moment if you’ve been a member of the of the TRA Rebel Baseball program since 2009, you’ve played in the 2009, you played in the State Tournament. The Class of 2014 members Blain Curtis, Connor Alexander, Jordan Carpenter, Jacob LaFosse, Chandler Phillips and Xen Penny want to leave the program on a high note making it to their second State Tournament.
The seniors and the Rebels took their first step toward returning to the Division II-A State Tournament since 2012 beating the Northpoint Trojans 12-2 Friday night at Rebel Field.
“We’ve worked all four years for this,” Penny said. “We love this team and we know what it takes to have a really good team to go to State and be successful.”
Success came off the bats of Rebels like Logan Stewart, Gil Erwin, Alexander and Curtis against Northpoint. Erwin had two hits and drove in three runs.
Alexander had a pair of hits and scored four times. His fellow senior Curtis hit a double and smacked a triple while scoring three runs.
Stewart struck the big blows against the Trojans with two doubles driving in four runners. Stewart’s final hit of the day scored the pair of runs needed to enact the mercy rule.
“Just doing what I’ve always know to keep doing,” Stewart said of his hot hitting, “just getting good cuts and seeing the ball real well. It feels great to contribute as long as we keep winning.”
Stewart crushed two homers in the final two regular season games. His continued hot hitting benefited Gil Erwin who pitched four innings. Steven McDaniel tossed an inning against Northpoint in the victory.
Penny and Stewart noted it will take a team effort for the Rebels to reach their goal and bringing the philosophy of Smith to life.
“You take it one inning at a time and you don’t get complacent,” Stewart noted. “You stay relaxed and focused on every pitch.”
“We remind everybody of what’s at stake,” Penny said of the seniors. “We keep everybody focused and on task. We emphasize that. Got to be focused, I’ll try get everybody up to get ready to take care of business.”