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Trojans focus on improving before region play

Charles Henderson High School's Chase Connell waits for a pitch signal during a baseball game in Troy, Ala., Monday, Feb. 21, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

It has been an eventful last week for the Charles Henderson Trojans.

In a six day span, the baseball team has played in seven games, and until recently, the team in orange and blue had been struggling.

For the first time in three years, the Trojans suffered through a three-game losing streak, losing a double-header at Thompson and then in the opening round of the Southeast Alabama Invitational to Slocumb,

Since that losing streak, CHHS had gone 3-1, beating Houston County, Montgomery Catholic and Dallas County by a combined score of 51-6.

The latter two games helped put the Trojans on the opposite side of the streak they began last week with, as the team has now won two in-a-row.

Against Montgomery Catholic, several seniors stepped up for the Trojans, as Chase Connell went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and Gregory Barnette went 2-for-3, with two RBIs.

Now, CHHS will look to keep the good times rolling in a critical time as region play begins this Friday in Eufaula.

And in order to keep the competitive juices following, the Trojans were on the diamond Monday afternoon – competing against themselves in an intra-squad game.

“It went pretty well,” head coach Derek Irons said.

“We had our JV and varsity involved, had the scoreboard on and tried to make it as real as possible. We are kind of in a little lull in our schedule where we have a few more days off between games and we just wanted to focus on some live at bats and some game type situations.”

This will not the last time the Trojans will compete against each other, as the teams will be back at it the next two days.

Currently, CHHS is 9-7 on the year, but even though the team has struggled early on, Irons believes his group has begun to mature because of it.

“I think we are finally starting to see that,” the coach said about his team’s maturity.

“We are finally starting to realize the things that its going to take to be successful and really how to handle adversity and not transfer blame and to do our job. All of this starts at practice. We are getting a little better each day with our execution and our understanding of what to do in certain situations.”

This work in practice has helped put the entire team on the same page, in the coach’s eyes, and at the right time of the season.

“I think, looking at the process, I am happy with where the team is right now,” Irons said.

“I would like us to be a little further along at this point. We are headed into the games that really count now. These games are going to help us earn a spot in the playoffs and that is something we have to be prepared to do, starting Friday.”