Maumelle Coach Barrett Davis relishes this time of the year.
As a former baseball player, Davis loves the end of the season where it’s either play and win or go home. The Hornets (13-9, 3-4 4A-4) begin district play Friday at Waldron with a 5:30 p.m. matchup with Subiaco.
Riding a seven-game winning streak, Maumelle ended conference competition Monday at Subiaco with a 13-2 run-rule. Davis said it could have easily been more runs. What he really likes is that the Hornets played their game.
"We didn’t pay attention to what was going on with them," Davis said. "They were chirping a lot, and we didn’t change our approach to fit their style."
After enduring ups and downs early in the season and a five-game losing stretch, two weeks ago Davis put his guys through some mental toughness exercises. He believes those exercises and the number of games the Hornets have played are making a difference.
"They have seen so many different situations and know they can play with anyone," Davis said. "Before, they were playing scared. As I said before, the schedule was tough in the beginning. Now, I know what each player can do and his role, and we aren’t trying to do too much."
Two victories at the district tournament, and the Hornets notch a spot in the regional tournament next week in Farmington. Because of the Hornets’ early losses, they are the number five seed, and Davis knows the other teams are aware of their recent success.
"At the conference meeting Monday, all of the coaches from the number one through four seeds were looking to see how many games before they played us," he said. "That’s what was frustrating early in the year. The other coaches knew we were good, I knew we were good, but we didn’t play like it. I feel good about our chances. We probably have the best pitching staff, and without a doubt the best hitters."