Rebels slowed by rain, not much else

Published 8:36 pm Friday, February 27, 2009

The Thorsby baseball team finally found an opponent it couldn’t defeat: Mother Nature.

Friday’s severe weather kept 6-0 Thorsby from winning a scheduled game for the first time this season, though the Rebels, who are off to one of the best starts in coach Ab Argent’s tenure, have been tested by a full early slate and an injury to one of their best players.

“You like to get off to a good start for several reasons,” Argent said. “It builds confidence. They can feed off it and build momentum.

“You learn a lot about yourself in these early games, and you would rather be learning while winning than…you know.”

No date has been set to make up the game scheduled against Verbena today.

Thorsby has won six games before one local team, Maplesville, has even played a game. Some coaches worry about stressing their pitching staffs too early, but Argent said he doesn’t think the workload will have a negative effect because of the work his pitchers put in during the winter. Beginning in January, the Rebels participate in daily throwing sessions at 5:45 a.m.

Pitching has been perhaps Thorsby’s most valuable asset so far. The Rebels are allowing an average of less than two runs per game.

“Our pitching, compared to the people we’ve gone up against, has been much more polished. We haven’t walked batters,” Argent said.

Starters Brantley Bice, Cody Carroll and Trent Glosson and relievers Shane Beam, Evan Bryan and Blake Elkins have all performed well.

Another reason for Argent scheduling so many games early in the season is that area play this year will begin earlier than it has in previous years. Shades Mountain Christian visits on March 5, while most seasons wouldn’t have featured an area game until after Spring Break.

Despite the early success, the Rebels have had to face adversity. One of the team’s best players, sophomore center fielder Christian Sorcia, who was batting 1.000 in nine plate appearances, broke his ankle while sliding into third base in the first inning of an 8-4 win over B.B. Comer on Feb. 21. Thorsby trailed, 2-1, until the fifth inning.

“When it happened, for three innings, you would have thought we were at a dern funeral service,” Argent said. “They acted like they couldn’t even walk around.”

But the Rebels dusted themselves off and won the game. Argent credits his team’s fortitude to its closeness.

The rest of the team, for example, paid a visit to Sorcia at his home on Feb. 25.

“He had our schedule tacked up beside his bed,” Argent said. “He asked them how they did against Isabella [on Feb. 24], they told him they won, and he turned around with a pencil and put a ‘W’ on his schedule.

“It was amazing. It’s stuff like that sometimes that make you realize why you play sports. These people become like your family.”

If the Rebels can keep pitching and overcoming adversity, Sorcia will have plenty more ‘W’s to pencil in.