Brownlee ready for series with Oxford
It appears the last time Brent Brownlee was at Edwin Moak Field for a game was in 2007 when he was playing as a senior. While the former Oxford Charger has returned to the field where helped lead his alma mater to a state title in 2005, it’s only been in a practice or visiting capacity.
“Looking back seven years ago, I never would have put myself in this position, playing against your alma mater to get to North Half,” said Brownlee, who is an assistant coach at Germantown, Oxford’s opponent in the next round of the baseball playoffs. “It’s almost surreal. I don’t think I ever went back to a high school game because I was so busy. This might be my first time back since I graduated, back for a baseball game. I’ve been back to hit on the field and the hitting facility, but an actual baseball game? I don’t think I’ve seen one since.”
Brownlee said if the atmosphere was anything like when he played, it would be electric when the Mavericks and Chargers met on Saturday night, that is if the weather doesn’t push back the opener tonight.
“They always have a good student section and they always bring a crowd. It’s going to be two great atmospheres for sure,” Brownlee said.
The series, at least on paper, features great pitching on the part of Oxford against a great hitting team in Germantown, who enters with a team average of .337.
“We know they have two great arms. I think they’re a little step ahead of us with (Jason) Barber and (Houston) Roth. It’s tough when you got two guys that can really pitch. That can take you a long way,” Brownlee said. “As far as us scouting them, we have to have quality at-bats and hit the pitches we can hit. If we can step to the plate and get quality at-bats, create walks, create errors, create something to get our offense going, I think we’ll be just fine.”
Germantown is in its third season as a high school. The players that make up the team all would have attended Madison Central if the school had not been created, Brownlee said. He said the Mavericks have 10 seniors, and most of those 10 play. They are a gritty team, in the form of the way Brownlee played when he was at OHS and Mississippi State.
“That’s how we try to coach them, do anything you can to get to first base. Whatever it takes, to get to first base, to get to the next guy and let him do the same thing,” Brownlee said. “We’re full speed all the time. We just want to play good, hard-nosed baseball and let the game play itself. We try to make (team) uncomfortable at practice so that the game becomes more of a comfort zone.”
The community has been very supportive of the Mavericks, Brownlee said.
“Everybody has come together for this team. We have a lot of families involved and they helped build this program. We’re going to miss those seniors for sure next year, but we got guys that can step up in their places,” Brownlee said.
Brownlee’s parents both work for the Oxford school district. He said both are excited about the matchup.
“They’re like me, they want Oxford to do well, but not when I’m playing against them. Of course they’re going to pull for me, but deep down, they’re like me, they want Oxford to do well,” Brownlee said. “They both support Oxford and are part of the community. We like Coach (Chris) Baughman. He was my coach when I was in the eighth grade. Me and him were together the whole time. I enjoyed playing for him.”
The first game is scheduled to be played tonight in the Madison/Gluckstadt area. First pitch is set for 7. The game can be heard on 95.5 FM with the “Voice of the Chargers” Don Brooks calling the action.