Pelham baseball headed to state finals

Published 5:17 pm Monday, May 13, 2013

The team that takes the game of baseball one pitch at a time is now one series away from winning it all.

The Pelham Panthers are two victories away from claiming the AHSAA Class 6A State Baseball Championship, and will travel to Montgomery May 15-18 to take on Hewitt-Trussville. The Panthers took down Auburn High School in three games May 10-11, winning the series in Game 3, 11-3.

“They [Auburn] are scrappy,” said Coach Sean Anderson. “They gave us all we wanted.”

Now the attention turns to the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies, who have a face familiar to Pelham at the helm. Hewitt’s head coach, Jeff Mauldin, was the Panthers’ head coach for six years before leaving last season to take the job at Hewitt.

In addition to facing their old coach, the distractions that come with playing in state title game are all things that Anderson said he feels his team can overcome.

“I can’t say enough about these kids,” he said. “I’m really proud of [them] focusing on the [main] goal.

Saturday they came out relaxed.”

Anderson also continued to stress the importance of taking the game in smaller segments, something he felt helped them in the game agains Auburn.

“It’s the team,” he said. “In Game 3 at Auburn, they committed a couple of errors, and we didn’t commit any. The team that can put all three [facets] together will win.”

One pitch at a time. It’s a philosophy that Anderson has preached all year, and on the cusp of a championship, isn’t backing away from now.

“We preach one pitch at a time; it doesn’t matter who we play, we’re going to play the game of baseball. If we can do that , with all the distractions, if they can stay focused on [playing] pitch by pitch, they’ll be fine.”

The Panthers will take on the Huskies May 17 at 7 p.m. at Paterson Field in Montgomery, and Game 2 will be held at 4 p.m. on May 18 at Riverwalk Stadium. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be 7 p.m. on May 18.