It seems like the first pitch was just thrown out and already district play is looming large.
But the Hilltoppers are getting in plenty of practice over the school holiday. The Houston boys had a full week at the Amory Tournament and Choctaw County Tournament and are participating in the Booneville and Saltillo Tournaments this week.
“We are excited about the opportunities we’ll have this week,” said coach Scott Gann. “We will have a chance to see a lot of guys and get our players a bunch of inning before the ‘real’ season starts.”
Toppers turn around
The Hilltoppers didn’t get off to the best start last week as they fell to New Hope, 0-9, at Amory March 4, but they knew going in the game would be tough.
“We lost to last year’s 5A State champ,” Gann said. “We just got so far behind early, we never really had a fighting chance.”
The Toppers tied with Hamilton, 4-4, in their second game of tournament and it was time to turn things around.
“Friday morning, the (team) veterans called a player-only meeting and got things headed in the right direction,” Gann said.
The team traveled to Choctaw County March 7 and took a 10-3 win over the Warriors with freshman Anekein Rish on the hill.
“We played extremely well,” Gann said. “Anekein pitched a heck of a game. The bats woke up a bit for nine hits and we had a really unselfish day at the plate moving runners over and scoring them.”
Rish allowed only three runs and struck out five batters.
The Toppers will continue to stay busy on the diamond this week as they were scheduled to play Harding Academy and Booneville Monday, West Point Tuesday, Belmont Wednesday and Amory Friday.
“All of that leads into division which starts next week,” Gann said.
The Toppers break division March 18 in Carthage against Leake Central.