PCA trying to ‘focus on focus’ during summer schedule

Published 8:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summer baseball has been in full swing for Porter’s Chapel Academy, as it took on Clinton Christian Academy in a doubleheader on Thursday. The scoreboard didn’t look exactly like the Eagles would’ve liked — game one finished at an 8-8 tie, and game two in a 12-2 loss — but coach Larry Allen was pleased with what he saw.

Allen — PCA’s assistant coach during the regular season who serves as head coach during the summer — thought game one was almost like a tale of two games, as his offense started off hot and cooled a little toward the end, while his defense got stronger as the game progressed. Both games were scheduled for five innings.

“I thought early on, we swung the bats pretty well, moved runners over when we needed to, did the little things offensively,” Allen said. “Defensively, we played all right toward the end of the game, just need to focus a little bit more and finish it out.”

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Out of the eight-run performance, Allen felt the most important aspect was the Eagles’ timely hits.

“Michael Tod Andrews had a couple hits today, Jake Arias had a couple of them, and it’s the little things,” Allen said. “We had a runner on third and a ground ball got the guy in. Those are the things that I’m big on, if you do your job up there at the plate, that’s what I’m big on instead of just how many hits somebody got.”

Allen felt that his team showed something that was much more important than the final score in a summer game, and that was effort and the will to improve.

“I want to win all the time, but my main focus is that they play a certain type of way, that they play hard,” Allen said. “If we play hard and we lose by 10 runs, it’s perfectly fine. It’s just about the effort that we put forth.”

It’s the third week of summer ball for the Eagles — about halfway through the schedule — and Allen likes what he’s seen from his team thus far.

PCA will play four more doubleheaders in June, with the next one set for Tuesday at home at Tallulah Academy at 5 p.m.

“We have a lot of good ballplayers out here. Spencer Azlin, he’s been throwing lights out, Allen said. “Jake Arias has been hitting the ball really well, Josh Smith has been swinging it well,” Patrick said. I have a lot of guys that have been doing what they need to do.”

Every team wants to show improvement across the board after the summer, but Allen felt there was one area that could really help elevate PCA.

“The focus for the whole summer is just focus,” Allen said. “Focusing all the way throughout the game on every out. From the first out to the last out, you have to put some pressure on yourself and play it like it’s the last out in the state championship game, every single one.”

Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this story, PCA assistant coach Larry Allen was misidentified as head coach Wade Patrick. Also, PCA’s next summer game is at Tallulah Academy on Tuesday, and not at Hillcrest Christian as was previously reported. The schedule was changed after Hillcrest canceled its summer baseball season.