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GAINING SPEED

Mundy’s Mill baseball has rebounded from slow start

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Mundy's Mill pitcher/first baseman Jerek Wright has been one of the team's most consistent players during the Tigers' eight-game winning streak.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Mundy's Mill pitcher/first baseman Jerek Wright has been one of the team's most consistent players during the Tigers' eight-game winning streak.

About four weeks ago, the Mundy’s Mill baseball team was three games under .500 and losers of five of its previous six games. The defending Region 4-AAAA champions were in the bottom part of the region standings.

Fast forward to the present, and the Tigers are within “striking distance” of the top spot in the region.

Mundy’s Mill entered Thursday’s game at Morrow with an 11-6 overall record and 10-2 mark in the region. The Tigers entered the game on an eight-game winning streak.

“We were able to put together a string of wins,” Mundy’s Mill coach Patrick Smith said. “We have been able to do some of the things that has helped us win some games.”

Smith says that consistent pitching has been a plus. The staff is led by Jerek Wright, who also plays first base.

“The last 10 games, everyone has played well,” Smith said.

Providing the team with some leadership has been senior third baseman Rashad Crawford, a Savannah State signee.

“Rashad has been on fire,” Smith said. “I think the other players are feeding off of him.”

Part of the Tigers’ early season struggles could be contributed to an upgraded schedule that included several playoff-caliber teams like Redan, Roswell and Walker. Smith said he purposely scheduled tougher teams to challenge his group.

Despite only losing once in the region, and three times overall last season, the Tigers were swept in the first round of the state playoffs by Effingham County.

“We knew coming in that we had some holes to fill,” Smith said. “We wanted to play some playoff caliber teams to see how we stand. Some times winning can cover up your flaws.

“Once we got into region play, we sort of thought that we can be near the top of the pack. We looked at the things we needed to work on to improve.”

Mundy’s Mill is a half-game behind Jonesboro in the standings. Jonesboro won the first game 10-7 on March 12. The teams were scheduled to play today, but the game has been rescheduled for April 26 because of Jonesboro’s prom.

The Tigers will have a rematch against Lovejoy on April 20. Lovejoy won the earlier game 5-4.

“I think we are within striking distance of where we wanted to be,” Smith said. “We just have to take care of ourselves. We sort of control our own destiny going forward. We can’t worry about anything that we can’t control.”