ACA hits the road for quarterfinals of state baseball tournament
American Christian Academy baseball is taking its show on the road, traveling to Daphne for the quarterfinals of the Class 4A State Baseball Playoffs.
The Patriots take on Bayside Academy beginning Thursday with a doubleheader and a Game 3 “if necessary” on Friday. It’s the first time the team will play on the road this postseason.
“Throughout the year we’ve played better on the road I think,” said ACA head coach Del Howell. “The guys seem to be more relaxed when we are away from here. I don’t think the pressure is how it is at home, having to perform for your home crowd. They’re young but they have really matured. I know I don’t worry about being on the road. I would rather be at home but being on the road doesn’t scare me.”
ACA’s offense was electric in a second round sweep of T.R. Miller. The Patriots combined for 27 runs and the offense came at critical times. In the first game, ACA jumped out to a 7-1 lead before T.R. Miller rallied for seven runs in the top of the 5th to take a 8-7 lead. The Patriots didn’t sweat and answered with six runs in the bottom of the inning. That speaks to the confidence the team is playing with.
“We have been on a really big run, especially in the playoffs,” said senior catcher Carson Sute said. “Right now, we feel unstoppable, we don’t think anybody can beat us.
“I believe whenever we go on the road, we still play our game. At home, you have your home crowd behind you. On the road, you have to show more resiliency. We have to fight harder because of their home crowd. That is going to give them momentum, so we have to make our own momentum out on the baseball field.”
ACA has been one of the hottest teams in the state the past month and a half. After starting the year 5-10, the Patriots have won 17 of their last 22 games.