When Scott Peavy took over the Horseshoe Bend head baseball coach job last offseason, he knew his team would have a chance to get back to he playoffs.
Horseshoe Bend went 8-12 during the 2021 season and missed the playoffs, finishing third in the area. Then previous coach Jason Johnson stepped down, and Peavy took over the head coaching role.
He knew he had some talented young players on the team, and he believed he could get them back to winning ways. And that he did.
In his first season as the leader of the clubhouse, he brought Horseshoe Bend back to a winning record as the Generals finished 14-12, and the team made the playoffs again for the first time since 2019.
For that reason, Peavy has been named the 2022 All-Outlook Baseball Coach of the Year.
“We had a great season,” Peavy said. “We had a good experience. We had a great group of young men who worked really, really hard this season and did everything we asked them to do. They battled back and beat Randolph County twice to make the playoffs. This was a gritty bunch who worked hard. They fought in every game and did whatever they needed to do to get the wins. We never gave up and I’m proud of them for that.”
Entering their last Class 2A, Area 7 series on April 4, Horseshoe Bend was 2-2 in area play and was set to face Randolph County for the last playoff seed.
In the Monday game at home, Randolph County won Game 1, 14-8, to take the series lead and push Horseshoe Bend’s back against the wall. But like Peavy had seen all season, his Generals bounced back and fought back in Game 2 and Game 3.
Horseshoe Bend then had to travel to Randolph County for Game 2 and Game 3 on that Thursday for a double-header, and they had to win both games to clinch a playoff spot. The Generals won an extremely close contest in Game 2, 7-6, to split the series.
While Game 2 was close, Game 3 was all Horseshoe Bend. Luke Jones and Jacob Turner pitched a combined no-hitter as the Generals won the game, 6-0. That gave Horseshoe Bend a 3-3 overall record in area play and they held the tiebreaker over Randolph County.
So that gave Horseshoe Bend the final playoff spot.
“I had expectations for them to make playoffs at the beginning of the year,” Peavy said. “I inherited a good group of guys and it was disappointing to lose that first game of the series. We had a pretty rough first game against them. But like I said, they showed that grittiness and never gave up. They kept fighting and they made sure we came away with two wins.”
Horseshoe Bend then closed out its regular season by going 2-2 following the two wins at Randolph County, then had to travel to Orange Beach in the first round of the AHSAA Class 2A playoffs.
The playoff series didn’t go the way Peavy and the team wanted, as they were swept by Orange Beach 9-3 and 14-0, but it was a good building block for the team.
Horseshoe Bend will lose a few key players from this years team, but the majority of Peavy’s team will be back next season with a taste of the playoffs.
That will give the Generals a goal to reach and get back to, and getting back to the postseason shows that Peavy has the program trending in the right direction.
“It was nice,” Peavy said of making the playoffs. “It gave us some ideas of what we needed to work on. We have nearly everybody returning next year. We didn’t lose a single pitcher, so we return every pitcher next year. That is what we need to improve on. Making the playoffs definitely is a confidence boost and gives us something to build on.”