FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville High School’s baseball team will have a few extra days to think about its first-round playoff matchup against Ranburne.
The Wolves’ postseason journey will officially begin in a doubleheader Monday afternoon starting at 4 p.m. at Ranburne. If the teams split the twinbill, an if-necessary game would be played Tuesday.
The best-of-three series was originally scheduled to begin Thursday, but Fayetteville head coach Morris Phillips said he and Bulldogs coach Stephen Bailey agreed to push the series to Monday due to weather concerns and field condition.
“Their field sits down in a hole spot, so it holds water when it rains,” Phillips said. “They don’t have the best drainage system in it, so it’s going to take a day or so for it to be where we’d want to play on it.”
Phillips said the Wolves were ready to play as early as Thursday, but storms that day presented potentially dangerous driving conditions.
“It wouldn’t be the safest and best idea to be on the road, with the wind like it was Thursday, on a school bus,” he said. “It was the best call to move it to Friday. We just couldn’t get it in with the rain they received overnight.”
The extra time give Fayetteville more opportunities for preparation.
“We’ll still be practicing over the weekend … and just staying loose,” Phillips said. “We’ll still be fine. It’ll give us a little bit of time to maybe get some arms back a little healthy and (get) the soreness out of them, but we’re still hitting everyday.”
He added everyone will benefit from the break in terms of recovery.
“We’ve been going strong since mid-February, with games just about every day it seems like,” Phillips said. “It’s good to have this little rest. I hope Jacob Kornegay and JB Matson, it’ll help them get their arms back under them.”
Fayetteville senior Blake Bagley said he planned to put the extra window of time to good use.
“I think it just allows us to go out there and build more confidence as a team,” he said. “It’s ‘do or die’ time now. If we go out there and lose, we’re done. If we win, we keep advancing. I think the extra days of practice are the key in getting us the win.”
Wolves senior ace pitcher and Troy signee Peyton Wesson said he’s preparing for each series as if it’s his last.
“Like Blake said, it is ‘do or die’ time,” he said. “With it being pushed back, we’ve had extra time to prepare for what we know they have. We’ve played them a good bit the last two or three years, so we know a lot about them. They’re a familiar foe and they know a lot about us. Just being able to prepare more for them is going to be huge for us.
“With it being the last ride, you’ve just got to go out there, make the most of your opportunities and make sure you leave it all on the field. With us having plenty of seniors, maybe we’ll go out with a bang and make it all the way this year.”