St. Al hits the road for series with Bobcats|[04/18/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 18, 2008

No matter where or when the St. Aloysius baseball teams takes the field, the object is the same.

“It’s baseball. The ball is white. It has to be hit and thrown,” said St. Aloysius coach Clint Wilkerson, who will lead the Flashes (19-5) into the Class 1A state playoffs today at 6 at Bogue Chitto. “There is a reason for everything and it may be a blessing we get to play over at that beautiful field at Hinds. I want to thank Coach (Sam) Temple, a Vicksburg guy, for being gracious enough to let us play there.

“It doesn’t matter where we play, whether it be here or 100 miles away, we are going to try to represent our school well.”

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Games 2 and 3 of the best-of-three series are set for Saturday at Hinds. Game times for Saturday are set for 1 and 4 p.m.

Rain if forecast for the state today and if it forces a postponement, the two Saturday games will go on as planned. If a third game is needed, it would be played on Monday at Bogue Chitto.

A rainout today would be just another wrinkle in an already bizarre year for the Flashes. The team has played home games at Bazinsky Field, Warren Central and Hinds this season. Bazinsky Field, the team’s normal home park, has yet to be repaired after storms ripped through the backstop, shifted light towers and tore away screens down the baselines.

Through it all, though, the Flashes have put together an impressive record and, most importantly Wilkerson said, the team is playing its best baseball right now.

“I have been pleased all year,” Wilkerson said. “We battled all year for a chance in the playoffs and that is all you can ask for, a chance.”

Sophomore Ryno Martin-Nez will pitch the first game with Stephen Evans taking the bump in Game 2 and Joseph Brown in Game 3, if it is necessary. The three have combined for 17 of the team’s 19 wins and have a combined 1.90 ERA.

On offense, Martin-Nez leads the team with a .406 batting average with seven doubles and a pair of home runs. Evans and Brendan Beesley are each hitting .329 and the team carries with it a .276 team batting average.

Bogue Chitto is a bit of an unknown for Wilkerson, who called the Bobcats an improved, scrappy team.

“I am playing up the underdog role because we are a No. 2 seed and we are not going to smoke anyone,” Wilkerson said. “We have to play hard every inning.”

St. Aloysius leadersBatting averageRyno Martin-Nez…………………406Stephen Evans…………………..329Brendan Beesley………………..329Sean Weaver…………………….313PitchingRyno Martin-Nez………………..6-2, 1.34 ERAStephen Evans………………….6-1, 2.04 ERAJoseph Brown…………………..5-1 , 2.33 ERA