Vikings begin pursuit of greatness
Published 10:25 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015
After games, when they huddle up in the outfield to assess the day’s action, Warren Central’s baseball team has heard the same message time and again from its coaches.
The Vikings are good. They won the Division 4-6A championship and are guaranteed of finishing with a winning record for the fifth time in six seasons.
Now, they need to be great.
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The challenge to make that leap begins tonight when they open a second-round Class 6A playoff series at home against Grenada.
Warren Central (15-10) has not been past this level of the playoffs since 2005, and everyone agrees it’s time to make a move.
“We’ve been saying all year, do you want to be good or do you want to be great? Now is the time to step it up and really pull the greatness out of this team,” Warren Central first baseman Zach Cox said. “Every player out here can play on this field and we’ll have confidence in them.”
Handicapping a favorite for the series is difficult.
Grenada (12-7) has won four in a row, but finished third in its division. Warren Central won its division, but lost three of five heading into the postseason.
Grenada won a first-round series between the teams last season, although both rosters have had some turnover since then.
“Our bats haven’t been as hot as they were early in the season, but our cuts have been looking really good. We’re feeling really confident and we owe them one,” said Cox, who is hitting .338 with 14 RBIs this season.
Warren Central has often been its own worst enemy. It has some signature wins over top-level programs like Northwest Rankin, Germantown and Clinton, but also lost to mediocre opponents Greenville and Richland.
Finding a way to stay on a high level for the next few weeks will be a key to whether the Vikings become great, or merely remain good.
“It’s just being inexperienced. Having to grow together and get those game woes out of your system that the young guys don’t understand,” coach Conner Douglas said. “But we’ve come a long way and we like where we are right now. We’ve proved that when we just play the game of baseball, we have pretty good success.”
Warren Central vs. Grenada
All games start at 6 p.m.
Today: at Warren Central
Thursday: at Grenada
Friday: at Warren Central