Flashes on a roll heading into key part of schedule

Published 8:00 am Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Aloysius’ baseball team is riding high after starting the season 8-0 and pulling off an improbable 7-6 come-from-behind victory against Vicksburg in the finale of the Battle on the River spring break tournament.

Now it will try to carry that momentum into the most important part of the season. Six of the Flashes’ next eight games are against District 3-AAA opponents, beginning Tuesday night at home against Park Place Christian.

“Having a comeback game like that, I believe will help us a lot going into conference play next week,” St. Al coach Sid Naron said. “We have a lot of work to do. Vicksburg is a much-improved team, and they gave us everything that we wanted, and I definitely know that that’s going to help us down the road.”

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The Flashes will play a home-and-home series with Park Place. Tuesday’s game is at Bazinsky Field, and they’ll go to Pearl on Friday.

Naron’s first glimpse at his upcoming opponents came at last week’s tournament. Park Place was among the 17 teams competing at Bazinsky Field and Porter’s Chapel Academy.

“I know coach (Brett) Christensen does a really good job over there. They’ve consistently gotten better over the last few years,” Naron said. “You know you’re going to get a very competitive team, he’s got some guys that can throw it really well. It’ll be a challenge, but I think our guys are up for it.”

After weather effectively scrambled the schedule at the beginning of the season — St. Al went nearly two weeks between games at one point — Naron felt like his team was starting to come into its own at the plate.

The Flashes are hitting .340 as a team and have scored at least seven runs in every game this season. Three players — Kieran Theriot (.522), Thomas Phillips (.500) and Wes Warnock (.438) are hitting over .400.

“My belief as a hitter is that you can’t really get on a rhythm until you get 20-25 at-bats. That’s pretty much where we’re at right now and we’re starting to see some of our guys really start to swing it better,” Naron said. “We’re just now able to form a lineup, and figure out exactly where we want everybody. Definitely being able to get these games in during this tournament has been vital, especially going into this next week.”

Naron said he feels very good about where the Flashes are at this point in the season.

“Guys are still really fighting for some positions. This is the first year that we’ve really had some depth,” Naron said. “We have some guys on the bench that are hungry. We have some guys that haven’t played who are going to be a vital part of our lineup moving forward. I think we haven’t played our best ball yet, and that’s really exciting.”