’s top playoff seeding has them ruling the roost these days, but recent events may have ruffled the Eagles' feathers a little, perhaps making them wonder where they really stand.
Are they the team that opened the season with 18 straight victories or the one that’s stumbled to a 3-3 record in its last six games?
Avon coach knows he and his gang better figure it out quick as the Eagles (21-3, 10-2 West Shore Conference) face Olmsted Falls in their Division I sectional opener today at 4:30 p.m.
Avon, ranked fifth in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association’s poll, moved up to Division I this season after a Division II district final loss to Holy Name, 6-5, last season.
After , DeSmit sat down with Avon Patch.com to discuss his team’s prospects for the playoffs.
1. How do you feel the team is playing heading into the playoffs?
It’s kind of a mixed bag at times. Going into last week, we’d gotten away from what made us successful like a lot of very patient at-bats, emphasizing more on-base percentage, getting as many guys on as possible. We played Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin on Saturday and Mayfield today, and we did a nice job of making things happen.
2. What would you list as the team’s greatest strength heading into the playoffs?
Normally our greatest strength is our pitching. It has been for the last two years. Normally, we’re a good defensive team, but you might not have seen that today (four errors). If you mix in just enough hitting, then that’s a good formula.
3. Where would you say the team is weakest heading into the playoffs?
Our depth continues to be something that’s a concern. Hopefully we’ll get through the games with no injuries. This time of year it’s tough because guys are fighting a little bit of fatigue. We carry 14 (players on the team). Of those 14, we have three guys who aren’t really position players, a couple pitchers and a DH (, Brendan Leary and Ian Long). Really, we’re about a 10- or 11-man team.
4. What are your expectations for the postseason?
I told the guys we’ve reached two of our goals. First thing being that we win or shared our conference (with Midview). Second, that we got to 20 wins which was another goal. We’ve set getting farther in the playoffs than we did last year as a goal. We made it to the district finals. To get to regionals would be the next check mark on the list.
5. Is there anything that most people wouldn’t know about the team?
Some of the haircuts are a little odd, I think. … Beyond that, nah, they’re a good group of guys, and they really care about each other.