COLUMBIA — As the Rock Bridge baseball team prepares for sectionals, the coaches have tried to keep practices light and quick, with a focus on the basics.
“You’ve got tired arms and bodies at this time of year,” Bruins head coach Justin Towe said. “We’ve been able to throw strikes and catch balls, and if we do that, we’ll be able to win.”
Rock Bridge (21-6)
at Helias Catholic (18-3)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex in Jefferson City.
Rock Bridge beat Timberland 6-3 last Wednesday with a late rally in the eighth inning to grab the Class 4, District 9 title, the Bruins primary goal every year.
“You can’t dream until you reach that goal,” Towe said. “This is all icing on the cake.”
The Bruins want to get off to a fast start in its 6 p.m. sectional game Tuesday at Helias Catholic and hope they can get a hit within the first few innings. However, they are not afraid of another close game.
“We have to be OK playing one-run games," Towe said. "But they’re pretty battle tested with that stuff.”
Towe said he hopes his team will embrace the fun of postseason play but focus and compete at the same time. Many of the players said they are excited and look forward to playing Helias.
Rock Bridge assistant coach Kelly Fick faces a unique situation in the game. The former Missouri pitcher, who played high school baseball at Helias, will be coaching against his alma mater.
“It’ll be different sitting in the opposing dugout, I’ll be nervous,” Fick said.
Freshman Logan Twehous is also looking forward to Tuesday’s game because he has the opportunity to start at shortstop for the second time this postseason, if senior and usual shortstop Ryan Phillips gets the start at pitcher.
“I’m kind of hyped and ready to play,” Twehous said.
Twehous said he had been a bit uneasy for his first postseason start but quickly settled in after his first few innings.
Nerves are not an issue for Phillips. After graduating from Rock Bridge on Saturday, he is completely committed to postseason play.
“We’re out of school and we’ve got nothing to worry about except to play ball,” Phillips said.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.