Tigers unfazed by reschedule

Published 7:06 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

The path of destruction torn by Wednesday’s storm system left numerous communities statewide ravaged, prompting the AHSAA to postpone all of its weekend events.

“In the big picture, the state made the right call,” Demopolis baseball coach Ben Ramer said. “The stuff these people around the state are going through, it really puts into perspective a game.”

Ramer’s team was scheduled to play Chilton County in a double-header Friday night as part of the second round of the AHSAA Class 5A state baseball playoffs. That series has been rescheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. following the ruling. If necessary, a decisive third game in the best-of-three set would be played Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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Ramer’s team advanced to the second round by pulling out an impressive road victory over Brookwood Saturday, April 23.

“It was really encouraging to see our kids put it into perspective too,” Ramer said of how his team responded to the postponement. “Although we didn’t get to play a game, we completely understand why and we support it 100 percent.”

The postponement will result in a difference of approach for the Tigers over the weekend. By the time they take the field Monday, it will have been nine days since the Tigers have played a game.

“This is not the time of the year when you want to be spending long hours out at the practice field,” Ramer said. “We haven’t had a layoff this long all year. We have to pace ourselves and get out of a rut a little bit, be a little more creative.”

When play resumes, the Tigers will turn to starting pitchers Chase Cameron, William Stewart and Ben Pettus. The latter two of that trio each pitched seven innings in the series against Brookwood while the former worked nine innings. The extra layoff will give the Tiger hurlers more of an opportunity to rest their arms.

“All three of them were ready to throw (Friday),” Ramer said. “You would hope those couple of extra days would give them a little rest that they might need.”

The altered schedule also means Demopolis will have to quickly turn around and get ready for a third round series should it make its way past Chilton early in the week.

“We would definitely like to come out here Monday and win two ball games. That being said, we’re playing a good team and we’re fighting for two out of three,” Ramer said. “You’ve got to do whatever it takes to get past this round so it does become a concern in the next one.”

Should Demopolis reach the third round, that series would take place next weekend. However, Ramer is not ready to focus on the potential for another round. Instead, he is hoping his team can maintain its momentum over a nine-day layoff as it readies for round two.

“We like where we’re at right now. We’ve survived the first round,” Ramer said. “That is what it is all about in the playoffs. You are trying to survive until the next one. Our kids are as confident as we have seen them all year. It comes down to leadership and maturity.”