As the Maumelle Hornets begin 4A-4 district play Saturday at Mena, Coach Barrett Davis only has one goal.
The focus is to win one game which will send the Hornets (13-8, 4-3 4A-4) to the regional tournament. Seedings and times were determined today, so Davis wasn’t sure who Maumelle would play and what time. That doesn’t really concern him.
"I want us to play Maumelle High school baseball with lots of energy and confidence," Davis said. "We are playing good baseball, no doubt. Things are coming together personnel-wise. If we just play our game, we are as good as any team in the conference. I want the guys to play with confidence and let them take us where they are going to take us."
Last week, the Hornets secured a non-conference 20-3 victory over Harding Academy and followed that up with a 4-0 conference win over Subiaco last Friday. Riding a nine-game winning streak, their run came to a halt last Saturday with a 6-0 loss to 7A Bryant. Davis said the score should have been 2-0 but early errors allowed Bryant to score three runs in the first inning before Maumelle could record an out.
"I think some of our guys read where they were ranked 18th in the nation," Davis said. "They manufactured their other three runs. After we realized we deserved to be on the field with them, we played better."
Adam Bahloul started the contest before Tanner Kirby pitched the last two innings. Throwing 92 mph, he received high praise from Bryant Coach Kirk Boch.
"Coach Boch said Tanner was the best he has seen in the state in several years," Davis said. "Tanner blew them away."
Against Subiaco, the Hornets managed to pull out the victory even though they didn’t hit well. Davis said the Trojans didn’t hit well at all, either, but the Hornets were able to score.
At the right time, Maumelle is also getting healthy. After suffering a hamstring injury, junior outfielder Kuron Summons is back and stole his 46th base last week.
The junior varsity finished its season with a 19-3 record with two losses to Bryant and one to Jacksonville. The team did record victories over Conway, North Little Rock, Benton and Cabot. Davis said that squad is comprised of kids who grew up playing together, and they have a confidence level Maumelle hasn’t had before.