All of a sudden, the North Pulaski baseball team is riding a three-game winning streak.
With a 10-6 victory over E-Stem and 13-3 and 16-2 victories over Little Rock Mills last Monday, the Falcons (4-12, 2-8 5A-Central) are playing better baseball. Coach Michael Dean just wishes it would have occurred sooner.
"We went back to the basics and bunted Mills to death," Dean said. "Once, they showed they could put down a bunt, we let them hit. We started over and went back to the basics, and the kids are fielding better and seeing the ball better."
Dean noticed the guys are playing with more confidence and motivation and not apprehensive like at the start of the season. He said the E-Stem contest was an eye-opener because the Falcons saw that they could win.
"We found a way to win that game," he said. "It was like they woke up. It’s amazing what confidence can do for a ball club."
After that victory, the coaches also had a heart-to-heart with the players and even called some kids out. He noticed a difference in practice and said every aspect is better and falling into place.
Dean pointed out that senior Austin Allen is having a good season despite having knee surgery last September. He is 25-of-37 for a .676 batting average, has hit six home runs, 12 stolen bases and seven assists from centerfield.
With six conference games remaining including a doubleheader with Little Rock McClellan today, Dean is anxious to see what the rest of the season holds. North Pulaski meets Sylvan Hills on Tuesday and has a makeup contest with West Memphis next Friday. Winning out would help in a bid for post-season play.
"We have a slight chance for state," Dean said. "Unfortunately, we waited until the last of the season to come together as a team."