Before 4A-4 conference season begins next week, Maumelle Coach Barrett Davis will use contests in the Mayflower tournament this weekend to tweak and fine-tune areas of the Hornets’ lineup.
Basically, Davis knows who is playing where but just wants to use the tournament to nail down substitutions and figure out who should be pinch running. He also wants to give some junior varsity players who have had good performances a chance to be inserted somewhere in the lineup.
"I want to look at a few guys in a couple of positions," Davis said. "I am still trying to figure out the big picture."
The Hornets (4-4) played two games last week and defeated Lonoke, 7-1 but lost 5-1 to Benton. In the Lonoke contest, they were down early but eventually took charge, played defense, hit better and played one of their best games all year.
"Senior Adam Bahloul pitched six innings and has been pitching unreal," Davis said. "He has been throwing in the upper 80’s, and his split and curve are working. He could have pitched the whole game, but I wanted to see some other pitchers work."
Against Benton, the contest could have been closer but errors and mental mistakes plagued Maumelle. Davis says the routine plays weren’t happening and thinks the jitters of playing a bigger school might have had something to do with that.
"The final should have been 2-1," he said. "They only scored in two innings, the first and the fourth. After the game, [Benton] Coach [Mark] Balisterri told me we would win a lot of games with this group. After the game ended, I think the kids realized they can play with a bigger school."
Davis added they just need to play with more confidence and stay positive. The only thing he said the Hornets need to realize is that one mistake doesn’t have to turn into two.
At the Mayflower tournament Friday, Maumelle faces Bauxite at 10 a.m. Friday and then Harding Academy at 5:30 p.m. The Hornets will also compete Saturday.