While most Leesville Road High students were enjoying Spring Break 2016, Pride Baseball was heading down to Columbia, South Carolina where they would face off against some of the best teams in the state.
The tournament began on the first Monday of spring break and lasted through Friday, although weather hampered some of the games from being played on the final day. The tournament was graciously hosted by AC Flora High School in Forest Acres, a suburb of Columbia.
The competition the Pride faced was highly competitive from day one. In their first game, the Pride took on Sumter High School out of Charleston, SC. In a low scoring game, the Pride lost 4-2, but Sumter had a few state championships under their belt in previous years. This would be a trend in the team’s Leesville faced.
In the second game, the Pride faced AC Flora-the host team for the tournament. Flora came out strong and took advantage of the Pride’s defense, scoring 9 runs before it was all over. The Pride lost 9-4, but to another state championship team. In fact, AC Flora had won back to back SC state championships coming into the game.
The last team the Pride faced was Dematha Prep out of Washington, DC. Dematha was nationally ranked coming in but this never seemed to faze the Pride as they rolled to a 12-0 win. While going 1-2 overall in the tournament, it was important that the Pride won this game going into the heart of the CAP-8 schedule.
While winning the tournament would have been nice, the Pride had one goal in mind. They wanted to go head-to-head against some of the best teams in the nation to prove they could compete and win against the best of the best. All in all, it was a successful showing for the Pride. Harrison Pair, senior catcher for the Pride, commented on the tournament afterwards.
“It gave us the opportunity to showcase our talent against some top teams in the country,” said Pair. “It also gave opportunities to the players who don’t get as much playing time to show the coaches that they can go in and execute when they are called upon.”
With all of the Pride players getting more experience in the tournament, the team hopes it will be well rounded and ready to go for the toughest part of their schedule coming up. Pair also said the week in Columbia showed him how competitive the CAP-8 conference really is.
“It shows how good of a baseball area we come from. The other teams in the tournament saw our record and thought it would be an easy win, but when we came out and pushed some teams around a little I think it shows how tough it is to play in our community and conference.”
When the Pride’s regular season schedule resumes, they will take on Wake Forest High School at home on Wednesday at 4:30, followed by matchups against rival Millbrook and Panther Creek later in the week. For more info on Pride Baseball, you can visit maxpreps.com.