Bob Jones baseball is fighting for that state championship trophy and is one step closer after beating Gadsden City on Friday, April 26. Those back-to-back wins helped break a school record, and now, they’re hoping to create a record too hard to ever be broken.
"It's really just exciting, you know, I think we all knew we could do it with a harder schedule this year, but I think all our confidence as a team, together, we just really believed we could do it," Bob Jones Senior John Michael Riley said.
Patriots Head Coach Jared Smith said his team's goal when heading into the state playoffs wasn't to break school records, but it's to get 43 wins. "Forty-three is what it's going to take to win a state championship," Smith said. "I told them the other day, 37, nice, but anything less than 43 is not what we're trying to do."
The Patriots have won 37 games this season, a new program record.
"It was a pleasant surprise and we were definitely happy to break it, of course. You know that's our 30-plus win season in the last four years, which has never been done," Coach Smith said.
This team is also thinking about the bigger picture.
"We take it one game at a time, one bat at a time, one pitch at a time. If we just stick to that game plan, then we can carry that to win a state championship this year," Bob Jones Junior Dylan Ray said.
Junior pitcher Cam Hill said he and his team think about playing for each other and also for their coaches. "They're going to get us there, and we know that we're such a strong team together, that we can get it done together."
These players say their execution comes from the chemistry between them.
"We're really like a brotherhood, like you said. We all get along and we lift each other up," John Michael Riley said.
Dylan Ray said this team never takes the game too seriously, because it is just a game. "That's what we're doing out here is playing together and having fun."
The Patriots are back in action on Friday, May 3, down at Vestavia Hills High School for a doubleheader. The Rebels beat Hoover two games to one to advance to the quarterfinals. Last year, Vestavia lost to Huntsville in the first round of the state playoffs. The first game on Friday starts at 4:30 p.m. The second is starting around 7 p.m. A game three will be played if necessary on Saturday, May 4.