Will mental aspects come into play?

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 17, 2004

Yogi Berra once said that 80 percent of baseball is mental, but in the case of this week’s 4A state championship, it’s more like 120 percent.

Both teams obviously deserve to be there, both have proven to be the best in Class 4A. But the team that will walk away from this series with the state championship trophy in hand will be the team that knows how to handle the mental aspects of the game.

Though the Demopolis High Tigers have recently become accustom to sweeping opponents in two games and ending a three game, two day series in one day, but with the way this series is laid out, the winner of game one will have to wait till Saturday to before any sweeping can be done.

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It’s a difficult situation for either team that can be a blessing and a curse according to DHS head coach James Moody.

“You know, if we were to win game one on Friday, it’s going to be difficult to keep our momentum going till Saturday,” Moody said. “Plus, it gives your opponent time to refocus and if that happens, they could come back on Saturday a new team and beat you twice. On the other hand, if we were to lose game one, I’m sure going to be happy that we don’t have to face them again till Saturday. But who wants to lose game one of a three game series.”

Either way it goes could be dangerous, but Moody believes that though his team favors winning in back-to-back fashion on the same day, the consequences of losing that first game could be mentally fatal come Saturday.

“We’re good at beating you back-to-back in a doubleheader,” Moody said. But I’m don’t want to have to be in that situation; where we lose game one and have to sit around all night and think about all the little things we have to do perfect the next day to win. That’s too much to have to think about.”

The key this week for the Tigers will be simply be staying relaxed. Keeping things as normal as possible is coach Moody’s biggest task this week.

“We have to stay focused yet relaxed all week,” Moody said. “If we treat this week and this game like any other and we’ll be fine.”