Chargers face challenge at Lewisburg
There is no other word that can be used to describe Oxford’s 5A playoff series with Lewisburg other than with challenge.
Oxford defeated Callaway in two games to advance to the next round of the 5A playoffs, which resume tonight at 7. Lewisburg is 20-6 overall heading into the series with the Chargers. The Patriots won the 4A state title in 2013 and they were the Region 1-5A champions this year with an 8-1 overall record.
Chadwick Lamar, who helped the Chargers advance past Callaway with a single and an RBI last Friday night at home, talked about the approach when looking at Lewisburg.
“We’re trying to take it game-to-game and just play as a team. We’re coming in as the underdog, but that doesn’t hurt us at all,” Lamar said. “We’ve been underdogs in football and baseball. It’s nothing that we can’t handle.”
Unlike the Patriots, the Chargers finished second to New Hope in region play, but Lamar was quick to say that seeding didn’t matter moving forward.
“I don’t think the seed has anything to do with whether New Hope is better than us. We stranded more than 10 guys on base that (third) game we played. It could have gone either way, we just didn’t get the big hit. They got a better draw in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean we can go far either,” Lamar said.
Oxford coach Chris Baughman talked about Lewisburg’s strength, which has been pitching. The Patriots enter with a team ERA of 1.87.
“They’re supposed to win it all. That’s what I’ve heard all year long, how it’s going to be Lewisburg and New Hope in North Half. It very well could be. They are very talented,” Baughman said. “But they are no more talented than we are. It’s going to be about making plays, offensively when they have runners in scoring position, and who makes plays defensively, who makes the routine plays. That’s the one thing they do a really good job with, making the routine plays. They don’t beat themselves, you are going to have to beat them, and that’s what we’re going to go ahead and try to do.”
This is the first year that Lewisburg is in the 5A playoffs, but Baughman didn’t feel like the jump up will make a difference and help the Chargers.
“Sometimes that does matter but they’ve been there. They’ve won a state championship last year, they know what it takes to win in the postseason and 4A, last year, was very competitive,” Baughman said. “I don’t feel like it will be an intimidation factor or whatever. I just want us to play well. If they’re better than us two out of three games, then they’re just better than us. I just want us to play as well as we can possibly play.”