Finishing the season 24-7, head coach Mickey Harper said losing the last two games did not diminish anything for him this season as they accomplished their biggest goal of winning the region championship.
“We played pretty well overall. They were probably the most talented team in the state in Class 3A and they did things a bit better…I reflect and see what a great group of kids we have and how we grew into a family. I’m proud and thankful for these guys,” Harper said.
Game one against Blessed Trinity ended 10-0, but game two was closer as Harper said his boys kept the ball down, “working the ball down in the strike zone,” and played better defense, giving them a final score of 6-2.
“We walked more and made more defensive mistakes in the first game, which they capitalized on,” Harper said.
Prior to playing Blessed Trinity Harper said neither of the teams knew anything about each other, but that was not a factor at this point in the series.
“As you come down to a series like this you need some clutch plays offensively and defensively. Whoever gets those and makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.”
In the sweet 16, Chapel Hill beat Thomson 2-1 in the series — outscoring Thomson 15-3 in the two wins.
In game one of the series Harper said they swung “aggressively” and had great hits, but the last two games were “real battles.”
“We had to take advantage of key opportunities to get some runs on the board. We did that and put pressure on them especially in game three,” Harper said.
Being put in a game three situation, Harper noted that there were some nerves, but his team felt confident having most of their nine seniors on the field. Harper described the feeling as excited with a little nerves as they were in a “do or die situation” and said they had a “let’s take care of business” attitude.
Now that the season is over Harper said his seniors and other players have taught him more about being a family than any other team he has had and said this team gave him a lasting memory through the way they play the game and represent their school the “right way.”