A whole new ballgame: Lexington expected to challenge Thorsby

Published 10:05 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thorsby has seen four fastballs so far in the state baseball playoffs and has four hits.

On Friday, the Rebels will see a big old yakker. The deuce. The hook. The hammer. Uncle Charlie. In English, a curveball.

In a best-of-three, quarterfinal playoff series at No. 3 Lexington (33-11), No. 2 Thorsby (29-4) will contend with both a left-handed pitcher and a night game for the first time in the playoffs—and possibly at the same time.

Lexington’s ace pitcher is senior southpaw Kenneth Ratliff.

Thorsby hasn’t faced a left-handed pitcher since March 31, so coach Ab Argent went looking for ways to let his hitters get a look at a lefty.

Junior high pitcher Brantly Maddox has thrown some balls in practice, as has Stephen Mims, who doesn’t usually pitch.

Chilton County pitcher Cameron Cummings and CCHS coach Josey Shannon—both lefties—have volunteered their services.

“It’s fortunate to have people in the county willing to help us out,” Argent said. “We tried to bring people in here, at least so our kids can at least see a lefty every day.

“It’s really going to be big for us.”

Thorsby will also have to deal with a Lexington home field advantage that will be made more imposing because Friday’s games are scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The visitors haven’t played a game under the lights since March 5—but do have some momentum.

Thorsby has outscored its opponents 42-5 in three games combined but squeaked by Ranburne, 17-15, in the second game of a second-round series last week.

Three home runs and one single in four at-bats is still pretty good.

“We feel fortunate being one of eight teams left playing baseball,” Argent said.

“But, at the same time, we’re not satisfied with where we’re at.”