• 64°

Rebels ready for underrated ‘Cats

By Stephen Dawkins

Thorsby this week will roll into the playoffs, but coach Ab Argent warns that his team’s first-round opponent will be much more than a speed bump.

Argent’s Rebels boast a No. 2 ranking, a six-game winning streak and a 25-4 overall record, while Woodland might be overlooked because of its 9-18 record.

But Argent hopes his team doesn’t fall into that trap when Woodland visits for a first-round playoff series beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.

“They’re a lot better than their record indicates,” Argent said.

The Bobcats have been better than .500 since opening the season with an 11-game losing streak and even won at their area’s champion, Ranburne, on March 30.

Woodland will rely on the combination of leadoff man Zach Barron and No. 3 hitter Trey Fetner.

Barron, the team’s shortstop, sets the table for Fetner, who leads Woodland in batting average (.528), hits (38), RBI (26), doubles (10) home runs (three), and stolen bases (22).

Thorsby’s pitching staff, which Argent calls as good as any he’s seen this season, will have to keep Barron off the base paths and keep Fetner, who will either catch or play center field, from doing too much damage.

Argent said Shane Beam, Brantley Bice and Cody Carroll are all likely to toe the rubber at some point during the best-of-three series. If necessary, Game 3 would be played at noon on Saturday.

Ranburne eliminated Thorsby in the first round last season.

“This is where it gets fun,” Argent said. “Some teams start getting weeded out. Those that can play under a little pressure are the ones that get it done.

“Hopefully, we’re one of those.”