PCHS Bulldogs still learning despite losing to Slocomb

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Xavier Allen throws out a pitch for the Bulldogs during their match up against the Goshen Eagles. The Bulldogs lost to Slocomb Saturday ending their season. MESSENGER PHOTO/JOEY MEREDITH

Xavier Allen throws out a pitch for the Bulldogs during their match up against the Goshen Eagles. The Bulldogs lost to Slocomb Saturday ending their season.

Slocomb may have knocked the Pike County Bulldogs out of the first round of playoffs, but head coach Tony May says he couldn’t be prouder of the way his Bulldog team played this season.

“We started learning the game,” May said. “The biggest thing was that the game of baseball was learned. Coming from a football school, baseball was so much more appreciated. We had to weed through some players to get to where we were. We found a core of boys that loved the game.”

The Bulldogs faced Slocomb in the first round of the AHSAA Class 3A playoffs, falling 13-0 and 18-1. May said the Bulldogs had trouble getting their bats going against the Redtops.

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“Well, we batted pretty bad,” May said. “We had lots of errors from the get-go. Slocomb was just a fundamentally sound. They did not miss a beat. I told them we to have a shot we had to play a perfect game and take what they give us. They hit the ball solidly.”

In addition to the challenges at the plate, the Bulldogs struggled with fundamentals. “We just left our fundamentals in Brundidge,” May said. “That’s the hard part in it. We were dropping pop-ups. It was rainy, muddy and we played sloppy. We played bad in it, and they just played well.”

May, as a first time coach, said he had learned more than the team had.

“I think probably one of the biggest people who has grown is me,” May said. “I learned more than I could imagine about baseball this season. The one thing I regret and hate this season is they had to suffer through my growing pains as well. I told them after the game, I wished they had a better coach. I gave all I got and tried to serve them well.”

May said the team had created a great bond together, and he didn’t want the last game of the season to be a reflection of the season as a whole.

“We ran into a really good team for playoffs, and it’s going to take a lot for them to get knocked out of the playoffs I believe,” May said.

The Bulldogs did not have any seniors this season, but May said the team had plenty of players who left a mark.

“Jarrell Lawson, that’s a name known throughout Pike County because he’s an athlete. He’s really adjusted for us. He moved from first base to right field and played great in the outfield for us. Stedman Flowers has just grown. He was asking questions every day. We had a kid, one of our juniors, his brother got married Saturday and we were out a starting catcher. Chris Maxwell stepped up and said I’ve caught before, and I don’t remember any mistakes he’s made. We’ve had a lot of young kids step up. Those are the ones that shone brightest to me.”

May said that in order to prepare for the next season, the Bulldogs would begin conditioning well before the season started. And, May said he wasn’t just talking about running.

“I am putting that one my shoulders,” May said. “With me being a new coach, we weren’t conditioned the way we could have been. I’m going to a couple of clinics and taking some boys with me to try and learn some more about the game and things we can do to better condition ourselves and compound it on the understanding of our fundamentals. Our conditioning is going to be the biggest thing. We’re going to be getting our arms ready, our minds ready, just living baseball.”

The Bulldogs finished their season with a 2-14 record, and May said he was thankful for all the support the team had received from the community.

“I just would like to thank everyone, especially all our parents,” May said. “I appreciate everyone who supported us and endured some tough games, but stayed with us for the good games. I really appreciate it.”