Porters Chapel wrangles up game to gear up for playoffs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 24, 2002

[04/24/02]While most of the other Academy-A teams were either collecting uniforms or starting playoff series on Tuesday, the scene at Porters Chapel Academy is eerily quiet.

Light practices. Days off. Scouting trips. It’s good to be the king.

As a reward for winning its second straight Conference 7-A championship, PCA received a bye through the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles will take on either Amite or University Christian Prep Tuesday, but for now, they’re getting back to basics with extra batting practice and work on fundamentals.

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“It’s been relaxing,” PCA right fielder Gerald Mims said. “We’ve been out here trying to stay mentally focused on all the games. We’ve been working on all the little things that are going to get us there.”

PCA coach Randy Wright scheduled practices for Monday and Wednesday, but was out of town Tuesday to scout the Amite-UCP series. Earlier in the week, he burned up the phone lines, trying to wrangle an extra game.

Few schools had open dates, but after a couple days of searching, Wright was able to take advantage of a scheduling conflict to get a game at Academy-AAA Lamar Academy on Thursday.

Academy-AA, -AAA and -AAAA schools are finishing their regular-season schedules this week, and Lamar’s opponent for Thursday canceled.

Wright, who earlier this season got a game with Central Hinds the same day one of PCA’s opponents made a last-minute cancellation, was able to get the Eagles into the spot.

“It was tough. He called about 50 schools. Most of them didn’t want to play or were in the playoffs and couldn’t play. He called all of the Jackson schools and none of them wanted to play,” PCA assistant coach Chris Busby said. “You don’t want to go a week before the playoffs without seeing any live pitching.”

On Tuesday, only about a half-dozen players showed up on an off day to take extra batting practice. Left fielder Wes Massey said the Eagles were working hard during their time on the diamond this week, but it still felt a little like a vacation.

“We’re just trying to keep it fun,” he said.

“We’re just trying to keep up the intensity so we can come out next week and put it on them.”