Cougars ready for start of postseason

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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Escambia Academy baseball coach Malcolm Hawthorne said he told his team to go ahead and make plans for this Saturday.

The Cougars will play at Crenshaw Christian this Fri., April 21 in the first round of the AISA Class 1A state playoffs. The series is in a best-of-three format with an if-necessary game on Saturday. EA needs to win two games to advance.

EA (7-10) enters the postseason as the No. 3 seed out of Region 2, Area 1 play. The Cougars won the first game against Snook, but dropped the next two; and won the series against South Choctaw.

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Hawthorne said he feels really confident going into this Friday’s series.

“Most games we lost we beat ourselves,” Hawthorne said. “We’re starting to peak at the right time. We had a late start to the season due to field work and unforeseen circumstances.”

Hawthorne said everybody’s starting to hit a little bit better, and defensively, the team is shoring up well.

The coach said before in the last five to eight games, EA was averaging eight errors a game.

“Now, we’re down to three or four,” Hawthorne said. “We’re in the middle of it. It can only get better. I believe in my guys, and that we’re going to make a run at it for sure.”

Hawthorne said the team’s approach to CCA will be the same as any other opponent.

Hawthorne said the Cougars are taking CCA seriously, just like any other opponent.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re 2-15 or if they have a winning record,” Hawthorne said. “We’re looking to win two games (Friday), that’s pretty much our goal.”

First pitch on Friday is at 4 p.m.