An Elite LevelPublished 3:41pm Monday, April 16, 2012
If followers of community college baseball within the state of Alabama haven’t heard of the Central Alabama Community College Trojans’ success in 2012, chances are that they have now.
Central Alabama heads into a series today at Southern Union ranked No. 2 in the country by the NJCAA, as the Trojans also won 18 straight games at one point, including no losses in the month of March.
Helping lead that charge have been sophomore pitchers Tanner Hicks and Jacob Noble, as the duo has stayed consistent from the mound all season after a shaky 2011.
“Last year, we were asked to do a lot as freshman, and I think that has helped us this year,” said Noble, who has a 2.56 ERA and averages seven strikeouts per game this year.
“Pitching and defense is what wins ball games, and people are seeing that out of us this year.”
Along with Noble is CACC’s ace pitcher in Tanner Hicks, a Troy signee who has taken the reins on the mound for the Trojans in 2012.
“I’ve had a good year from the mound, but everything is a team effort,” said Hicks, who has a 1.77 ERA in 14 appearances this season.
“As pitchers, we want to control the game from our aspect and do what we can to help us win.”
The Trojans also have guys who have seen the big stage and what it takes to be successful on it, as centerfielder Todd Thompson won two state titles at Auburn High School two years ago.
“There are a lot of similarities between my high school team and this team,” said Thompson, who has started in center for CACC since he arrived on campus.
“We don’t have a big superstar and we just want to win as a team, whatever it takes.”
Shortstop and Mississippi State transfer Garrett Pitts echoed much of the same.
“I can’t say enough about my teammates and the work we put in everyday to get better,” said Pitts, who currently has a .375 bating average.
“We want to win the community college state championship and see if we can do some damage on the national scene and everybody wants to do their part in getting there.”
The Trojans have climbed into the national baseball spotlight, one pitch and one hit at a time, and with the right players in place, their goal is to stay there.
Central Alabama will look to add two more wins to their 33-6 record starting today at Southern Union with games starting at 1 p.m.