EA riding success

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EA Cougars pitcher Michael Thompson looks for his pitch signal in Cougars’ baseball game earlier this season. The Cougars are currently 7-1.

Experience and leadership were what first-year Escambia Academy head baseball coach Mickey Cannon looked for when he took the job, and that seems to be the mix he has used for success this season.

The Cougars, sitting at 7-1, are hoping to keep the run going, as they enter the final month of the season.

With a winning record on their side, the only issue the team has faced is having to make up canceled games, Cannon said.

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“I’ve been pleased with how we have played this season,” he said. “I think after our first game, we got past our jitters and have played good baseball. The only problem that we have had is the amount of rain outs that have canceled games. We will have to be ready for a lot of baseball from here on out. We will be playing around three games each week.”

The Cougars have been on a roll as of late, knocking off opponents left and right including a 14-3 win last week over Sparta Academy.

Impressive wins by the Cougars have to be chalked up to everything from batting to pitching falling in place, Cannon said.

“All of our players have been hitting the ball well,” he said. “Defensively, we have been solid, and our pitching has been strong. Everything has been coming together, so I think we can be a strong baseball team moving into the second half of our season.”

Even with the string of successes to open the season, the Cougars have not slowed on working to improve their game.

“At practice, we are just continuing to work on our fundamentals,” he said. “As good as we are hitting, we are still working to improve our contact with the ball. We are doing the same things that we started with our first practices.”

The work on fundamentals will need to give the Cougars an extra edge as the they move towards April.

The strain of extra games will put the team to the test, but playing behind leaders and experienced players will be what takes the team to the next level, Cannon said.

“I think we’ve got a chance to be a really good baseball team,” he said. “We are experienced, but we have brought in some players who are new to the game. Our new players are still playing well, and the leadership that we have on our team has been a key in their success.”

The Cougars’ next game will be at 6 p.m. at home against Pensacola Christian Academy.