With Harker Heights trying to maintain its footing in the District 8-5A playoff race, head coach Glenn Cunningham was happy with his team’s win Tuesday against Killeen.
But heading into a rematch with Ellison on the road tonight, he also made it clear they have to be better.
Heights (14-6, 5-4) remains in fourth place in District 8-5A, with Ellison one game behind.
To stay in the top four, Cunningham said his team must improve its play at the plate.
“I think our guys are pressing a little bit,” Cunningham said after the Killeen game. “We just don’t seem comfortable right now. We don’t seem confident right now at the plate.”
Shortly after Cunningham gave his diagnosis, freshman Daniel Cole echoed his sentiments.
“I agree, we are pressing. We’re trying to do too much at the plate,” Cole said. “Honestly, we’re swinging for the fence and not all of us are home run hitters.
“We just have to work as a team and play good small ball. That’ll help us out.”
Heights did that at the end of the game Tuesday, stringing together four hits to score three runs in the final two innings against the Kangaroos.
Before that, Heights scored only two runs in its past 11 innings after being shut out by Belton and getting off to a slow start against Killeen.
“We’ve had good (batting practice) sessions. We’re just not applying it to the field right now,” Cunningham said. “It’s something we’ll talk about, and we’ll make some corrections.”
Cunningham was more than pleased, however, with the Knights’ defense as Cole retired 19 straight Roos at one point Tuesday.
If the Knights can play defense like that behind Cole, Cunningham acknowledged they’ll be in almost any game they play.
But Heights wants to put up runs as well and, it hopes, put a bit of space between it and the teams chasing it for the final playoff spot.
“If we’re steady on defense we’ll be in the ball game and have a chance,” Cunningham said. “Whether we win by one, win by five, it doesn’t matter. As long as we get a win we’re happy.”