Eagles in Elite Eight
Not beating themselves: That is what W.S. Neal head baseball coach Coy Campbell said would be the key to the Eagles winning their home quarterfinal series with American Christian this week and advancing to the Final Four of the class 3A state baseball playoffs.
The No. 1-ranked W.S. Neal Eagle baseball team swept the No. 9-ranked Opp Bobcats Friday night in Opp in the second round of the playoffs to improve to 27-0 this season and advance to the quarterfinals of the AHSAA class 3A state baseball playoffs.
The Eagles claimed a 7-0 win over the Bobcats in game one and held on for a 3-2 win in game two to get the sweep.
“The Opp series was a good series,” Campbell said. “We got two wins and that is what we want to get. The second game was the closest game we have played all year. Actually we needed a game like that. Winning games like that is the way you win championships. I thought both teams played well defensively, we were just fortunate to be the ones with three and they had two.”
W.S. Neal will now host American Christian this week in East Brewton in the quarterfinal round. American Christian defeated Leeds Friday night 5-3 in game one and 10-0 in game two.
“Traditionally they have been in the playoffs year in and year out, especially in 2A,” Campbell said. “They are in 3A, but if they are still playing, they have to be good. They have got our respect. I don’t know a lot about them right now, but I just know that they have to come here and hopefully that is an advantage for us. Our thing is to keep doing what we do and if we do that, I still like our chances.”
This is the first time W.S. Neal has advanced to the quarterfinals of the state baseball playoffs since 1990.
“It is good to be in the third round,” Campbell said. “For these seniors and the past seniors, being in the playoffs the last three years has helped us out a lot. I think the last two years we were just getting in there and seeing what happens. With this group it is totally different. For them, it is just the next week. We are just trying to win two and move on. I don’t think it is a big thing about trying to get past the third round. It is the same with us being undefeated. Everyone keeps talking about it. It is nothing talked about around here. It is just win two and move on. I don’t think there will be any nerves, plus playing at home will help…I think.
“ It is just another step and another opportunity for us to reach that goal that we set at the beginning of the year. I guess we set it every year, but now we are two steps closer.”
A win in the quarterfinals this week would put the Eagles in the semifinals next week against the winner of Trinity and Slocomb series.
The Eagles would be on the road to either team.