Struggling Rams Focus on Playoffs

Struggling Rams Focus on Playoffs

Robinson baseball team looks turn around season with strong postseason play.

Ask Robinson boys’ baseball team coach Jeff Ferrell how the season is going and he ticks off a laundry list of issues.

"All three aspects of the game, we're not doing well," he said. "We're not playing good defense, we're not getting runners in and our pitching has been OK at times."

But Ferrell isn't letting the team's 4-9 record and struggle to turn in a full, three-dimensional game take away the opportunity his team has at hand.

"We're just struggling," he said. "We're trying to get it figured out before the district tournament."

With six games left in the season, the Rams are eager to embark on a string of baseball that will rejuvenate the team and their spirits.

The players realize the gravity of the situation. Senior Brad Williams said that his team hasn't lived up to expectations but can turn the season around.

"We worked incredibly hard in the offseason," he said. "It's just a bit frustrating."

That turnaround is starting in practice, where Ferrell is attempting to turn menial practice drills into ways to evaluate his players' abilities in tough situations.

"We have guys competing for positions," he said. "We're competing in that aspect. We've also focused our practice on putting the kids in more pressure situations."

In addition to increased intensity in practice, senior Rutger Floyd said his team is trying its best to forget and move past the early season struggles.

"You have to have a lack of memory," Floyd said. "You have to just forget it and move on."

It was that mindset that helped the Rams break out of a slump last season and come close to a district title.

"Last year, we struggled throughout the season," Floyd said. "But we had a run to the [Concorde] District championship and made it to regionals."

The team isn't just focused on the immediate future.

With a balanced team of senior veterans and underclassmen returning for the 2011 season, Ferrell hasn't been shy about developing future players.

"We've given kids some opportunities," he said. "I wouldn't say it's a learning experience. We've got kids who didn't have a lot of varsity experience last year and they're getting it now."

With only a limited amount of time to fix their issues and set the season back on course, Williams said the path to postseason success goes beyond practice and forgetting about missed chances.

"It comes down to being a team and picking one another up," he said. "If we understand it's a seven- inning game and 21 guys work for one goal, we can do it."