Haigler to fill out Isabella rotation

Published 8:38 pm Thursday, April 16, 2009

Isabella baseball coach Lanny Jones likes the best-of-three format used to determine winners of the first round of the state playoffs.

“I like it because the best team wins, not the best pitcher,” Jones said, but it probably doesn’t hurt his opinion of the format that one of the pitchers expected to start the second game of the series just returned from an injury.

Sean Haigler, brother of ace Austin Haigler, started his first game of the season against Jemison in the first round of the Chilton County Baseball Tournament on April 13. Sean Haigler pitched only three innings and gave up a grand slam, but his return improves Isabella’s chances at 1:30 p.m. Friday when Reeltown (13-10) visits. The two teams would play at 11 a.m. Saturday if a third game is necessary.

“I thought he did well,” Jones said about Haigler’s appearance. “I feel like we’re better than we were at the beginning of the season.”

Isabella is the only local team hosting a first-round series, and Jones said he has told his players they should be proud of the accomplishment. If the Mustangs (10-11, 6-0 area) want to play in the second round, defense, as well as pitching, will be critical.

“I think defense for us is going to be the difference in whether we win or lose,” Jones said.