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Comets ready to play for ‘big win’

“I think we’re as ready as we’re going to get.”

Halifax County High School senior second baseman Will Harris says those words aptly describe the Halifax County High School baseball team as it prepares for today’s 5A North Tournament quarterfinal game against Thomas Edison High School of Alexandria.

The Comets will host the Eagles (12-10 overall) tonight at 6 p.m. at Halifax County High School. A win tonight will propel the Comets to Wednesday’s tournament semi-final game where they will have an opportunity to earn a state tournament berth.

“I know everybody is excited about the game Monday,” Harris remarked.

“I know everybody wants to try to get the big win Monday and, as Coach Davis says, try to cross the next hurdle. Everybody is focused. Everybody is zeroing in on Monday.”

The Comets are well rested for today’s game. They have not had to play since defeating Patrick Henry High School-Ashland 5-4 last Monday to win the Conference 16 championship.

“It (the win) was very big, especially since this was the first year we’ve had the new conference,” Harris pointed out.

“It was a great win, a great way to get everybody’s momentum going.” 

Comets senior catcher Tristan Howerton agrees with Harris’ assessment that the team is confident and ready to play.

“We had a great day of practice (Friday) and kept the intensity up,” Howerton pointed out.

“This is a great group of guys and everybody wants to win. That’s the main thing.”

“We’ve been working hard at practice,” added senior third baseman Dustin Crews, “and everybody seems like they have their heads straight and want to win. It seems like we’ve had some better practices toward the post-season, and everybody’s mindset seems to have changed. We’re ready to win.”

Howerton said he feels the team is more focused right now than it has been at any time during the season.

“When the post-season comes, everybody finds a new love for the game,” Howerton explained.

“The post-season is the most fun time of the year. Everybody really wants to win right now. Hopefully we can get more wins and go to the next level.”

One of the areas of concern over the course of the past few weeks has been the Comets’ ability to come up with hits at crucial points in the game with runners on base. 

The Comets have shown improvement in that area over the course of the past three or four games. Harris feels the team has turned a corner in that regard.

“I think everybody is a little more confident,” Harris pointed out.

“We’re deeper into the season and the swings are finally starting to come back around like we want them to and everybody is clicking at the same time.

“We struggled early in the season with it,” added Crews.

“Lately we’ve been getting those hits at the key moment in the game with runners on base and been able to move them pretty well and score. It feels like we’ve kind of gotten it back together towards the end of the season. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Howerton says the team is peaking at the right time.

“A lot of guys are getting their (batting) averages up and getting crucial hits at the right time,” the Comets’ catcher noted. 

“The pitching has remained the same the whole year. That’s been our backbone. If we can have all of that in one game, I think it’s a pretty good equation for a win.”