By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Tigers switch baseball venues for the day on Friday afternoon, going from Price Field to Navarro’s Graham Field.
It’s nothing more than a scenery change, as Corsicana plays its final non-district game before Tuesday’s District 16-4A opener at home against Tyler John Tyler. Corsicana will play West at 1 p.m. Friday (KAND-AM 1340).
“Play at a different place,” Tigers coach Heath Autrey said. “Basically that’s it.”
Autrey’s focus is keeping the same positive vibes he’s received from his team the last few weeks. The Tigers have won 12 of their last 13 games with a tie thrown in there (how there’s a tie in baseball nobody knows, but that’s high school tournaments for you).
Corsicana (14-4-1) just won the Ennis Tournament, rallying past Mansfield 7-6 in the championship game. That after going 5-1 the weekend before at the Leander Tournament.
The Tigers have had reliable hitters emerge from senior designated hitter Ben Goodrich to sophomore first baseman Bobby Lopez. Right fielder Brady Harlan, one of the Tigers’ top returning hitters, has gotten hot lately, with two more hits in Monday’s 8-1 victory over Joshua.
“We’re in good shape,” Autrey said. “The team attitude is good. The kids are playing unselfish. Offensively we’ve had big surprises with Goodrich and Lopez swinging the bats really well.”
Autrey does want to see his defense clean some things up, especially on the mound, where pitchers have combined to make around half of the team’s errors.
“We need to play good defense,” Autrey said. “Our fielding percentage is the lowest that I’ve ever had. We have to keep moving forward.”
The Tigers are also searching for a No. 2 starter. Senior ace Holden Grounds is locked into a Friday schedule, meaning he’ll start against West and then next Friday in the Tigers’ first road district game at Jacksonville.
The No. 2 starter will get the call in the district opener against Tyler John Tyler on Tuesday at Price Field. That pitcher will come from a group of seniors Jeremy Fowler and Tyler Casbeer, sophomore DJ Minniear and freshman Trevor Nolen.
All have shown flashes of brilliance, but commanding the strike zone has been a challenge so far.
“We have to throw strikes,” Autrey said. “We’ve beaten some good teams and played well.”