Charles Henderson looks to put hitting on display against ACAPublished 10:14pm Thursday, April 24, 2014
Every pitch is calculated and every part of practice is calculated at Charles Henderson. Trojan head coach Derek Irons has a plan, and each player in the system has bought in to it.
While most teams simply take batting practice to swing the sticks, Irons has every swing designed to deliver a certain hit and to place the ball in a certain location.
“We don’t go out and hit a bucket as hard as we can, and then pick them up and do it again,” said Irons. “We want our guys to be able to place balls in certain parts of the field, depending on the situation. We want out guys to be comfortable in any situation at the plate. The only way to make sure of that is to simulate it during BP.”
The Trojans don’t have that many homers in 2014, but have scored at least 10 runs on 13 different occasions this season. All those have to come from somewhere, and Irons has the players believing in the small ball mentality.
“You don’t need to knock it over the fence every time,” said Irons. “Sometimes a 14 hopper to second will get the job done and sometimes it doesn’t. Our guys have really bought in to it, and take pride in moving guys over and hitting the opposite way to move people around.”
Charles Henderson will look to use some of the small ball techniques on Friday in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs. The Trojans will play host to Alabama Christian Academy, a team Charles Henderson saw almost 365 days ago.
The Trojans and Eagles met in the second round of the 2013 playoffs, and Charles Henderson picked up a two-game sweep en route to the state title. Irons expects a battle this time around.
“There are a lot of really good teams from that Montgomery metro area, and ACA is one of, if not, the best around,” Irons said. “They have two really good left handers on the mound, and are really strong in the pitching department. They are a really good team, and will come in here with a lot of confidence and ready to play. We like having them out our place this year, and hopefully that will give us a little bit of an edge.”
The second round matchup is set for a 4 p.m. first pitch on Friday, with the back end of the doubleheader beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The “if needed” game will be held Saturday.