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It’s no surprise, BA could win it all

Brookhaven Academy was down 4-0 when they came up to bat in the bottom of the second inning and had struggled through their first few at-bats.

It could have been easy for anyone on the team to panic or lose composure, considering it was the state championship series.

It would have been understandable if at-bats became pressure-packed and grips became tighter and swings became choppier because of the pressure of being down, at home, early in the contest.

But it didn’t happen.

It didn’t happen because, well, for one, the Cougars’ one-through-nine batting order is as deep as you’ll see at that level.

It didn’t happen because the Cougars are well-coached and they’ve been behind before and busted out of deficits.

And it didn’t happen because Brookhaven Academy, up-and-down the order and through every position on the field, has confidence.

And that’s what wins in baseball.

So, it came as no surprise when O’Neil Burgos hit a ball to the moon in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Cougars a 6-4 lead Tuesday.

It came as no surprise that Tanner Watts and Nick Ogden locked up the Rebels when Brookhaven Academy took that lead and didn’t give Tri-County any life.

And, frankly, it comes as no surprise the Cougars will have two chances to win one game Thursday night to win the school’s first state championship since 2010.

It’s what they’ve done all year, and it’s why they’ll be considered favorites Thursday night to win that state championship.

Talent alone doesn’t win baseball games. The 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers are living proof of that.

It takes confidence and guts if you’re going to come out on top with a championship at the end of the season.

That was never more on display than on Tuesday night when the Cougars erased that early deficit and poured it on Tri-County Academy.

Thursday night the Cougars will head to Flora with one goal on their minds — winning one game to claim a state championship.

Tri-County, in fairness, has been here before. The Rebels dropped game one of the North-Half State championship series and bounced back to win the next two games. They’re potent at the plate and have no trouble with velocity.

They’re good enough on the mound and stay in the strike zone with extreme consistency.

But if Brookhaven Academy looks anything like they have the past three months and plays with the confidence they’ve displayed over the past three weeks, they’ll have every opportunity to leave Flora with a state title.

Sports editor Collin Brister can be reached at 601-265-5306 or collin.brister@dailyleader.com.