By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Tipton-Rosemark Academy Rebels are trying to hit their stride.
After graduating multiple college-level talent from last year’s State runner-up team, Brad Smith had to implement young players with some key returnees.
“We’re been doing OK,” Smith said. “We dropped a couple of tough games Monday and Tuesday of this week to St. George’s. One was an eight inning game.
“We’ve got some young kids that are coming along,” he added. “We lost some games early because we’re young in some spots. We played a tough schedule. But we’re looking OK, competing and getting better everyday. We’re just trying to get ready for May.”
Getting ready for May started last Thursday at Rebel Field with a 5-0 victory over the White Station Spartans.
“We had a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting Tuesday night,” Smith said. “We had a great practice Wednesday. The little things we worked on yesterday were implemented in the game today.
Our approaches at the plate and the way we approach the game were better,” the skipper continued. “Stephen McDaniel gave us a great game on the mound today. Did his job. Our approaches at the plate today were good. We did some good things.”
McDaniel dominated the Spartans for seven innings ending the game with a strike out. The TRA starter got early run support in the first inning when Brandon Winfield drove in Conner “Spanky” Sanders to make the score 1-0.
McDaniel and the TRA defense made the run stand until addition support came in the fifth inning. The four-run inning started with a Nathan Whitley walk. Zack James reached base with a slap-style single.
Houston Hall drove in the Rebels’ second run with a bunt single down the third base line.
Then it was Sanders’ turn to drive in some runs hitting a single into the outfield to make the tally 4-0. A pass ball allowed the Rebels’ fifth run to score.
TRA started it’s three-game stretch with a 5-0 victory. The Rebels prepared for visits from the St. Benedict Eagles and Haywood Tomcats to prepare for a league showdown against the USJ Bruins.
“I’ve told them, ‘My goal, I want to play this Thursday, Friday and Saturday stretch as if it was the State Tournament,’” Smith concluded. “I want that eagerness. That intensity and that passion this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And we got a good start to it today.”