The Russell County Warriors say they didn't play their best last weekend in a first-round playoff series with Jackson.
The result? A combined score of 23-0 and a spot in round two.
"It definitely gives us a little confidence, and the motivation for next week to do better," said senior pitcher Jesse Nelson. "Knowing that we didn't play at our best gives us that motivation to do better next weekend and top what we did."
Another way to look at it is, if that was Russell County at less than its best, then the rest of 5A better watch out.
"I think it's a big boost in confidence, considering we didn't play our best game," said senior shortstop Trevor Davis. "But when we do play our best game, no telling how good we can be."
Much of the Warriors' success this year is thanks to a large senior class. Head coach Tony Rasmus has largely given way to his leaders on the field when determining how to make his team better. For example, he says the Warriors haven't taken on-field batting practice since February.
"What do we need to work on to make improvements over last year?" Rasmus said. "I felt like we were better than Spanish Fort last year but lost, so a lot of the stuff that we've been doing is stuff that [the seniors] have thought would help them, versus just doing a random, standard practice."
The Warriors will host Rehobeth on Friday for a doubleheader, with the if-necessary game on Saturday.