Cougars get fresh start as baseball season begins

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Escambia Academy’s baseball team is getting off to a fresh start.

Clad with new uniforms, a renovated baseball field, a new head coach and an eye to the horizon, the Cougars began their 2016 campaign Tuesday at Baker, Fla.

Last season, EA managed to only scrape out four wins, just coming short to getting a berth in the postseason.

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Cougars coach Jeff Price said the players have been working hard during the offseason.

“In their spare time, they’ve been in the cages during seventh period and hitting,” Price, an EA alumnus, former Cougar baseball player and University of Mobile pitcher, said. “This year is going to be a whole new story. A lot of guys graduated last year.”

Leading the Cougars this year are seven seniors in Drew Koons, Ben Martin, H.T. Fountain, Bradley Campbell, Cole Waters, Chris Brown, Josh Fields and Brad Quimby.

This season, the Cougars will be battling with Monroe Academy, Fort Dale Academy and Pike Liberal Arts Academy in AISA Class 3A, Region 2, Area 2 play.

Price said the region is one of the toughest.

“The thing is is that if you make the playoffs, you have a shot,” he said.

EA opens up its home stand against Monroe Academy, a rival, on Tues., Feb. 23.

Leading up to the start of the season, Price was asked whether he can put a number to how many wins and losses the team will have.

“I’ve always told them, ‘I don’t know,’” he said. “We’ve got a different team. They won four balls games last year, but it’s a completely different start for them.”

Price said he’s encouraged the players to think of themselves as an under dog, compared to other teams.

“These kids have worked, worked, worked; I told them nobody can take away how hard you’ve worked,” he said. “Of course, we’ve got new uniforms this year. I want it to be a new start for them.”

Price said the players are excited to get the season started.

“We’ve got a lot of different guys in different roles than have ever been before,” he said. “Of course, the big thing for them is that I want to prepare them for college.

“My thing for them is that I want them to not think high school. I want them to think future.”