“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs, and ideas into my brain.” — George Eliot, “The Mill on the Floss”

A new music trend is sweeping through the halls at Salado High School and it has nothing to do with racy lyrics.

Because, for the most part, the students don’t even understand the lyrics.

Whether it’s before or after a game, it’s not uncommon to hear the smooth Latin hip-hop stylings of Don Omar, Daddy Yankee and South Park Mexican blaring from within the confines of the long, yellow bus containing the Salado baseball team.

A Latin hip-hop craze has taken over Salado, and it’s helping its second-ranked Eagles (33-5-1) continue a tear toward a return trip to the state tournament.

Following Wednesday’s 9-3 win over Troy in Game 1 of their best-of-three Region III-2A final series at UMHB’s Red Murff Field, Salado is one win away from advancing to the Class 2A state baseball tournament at Dell Diamond.

The Eagles have two chances to clinch this afternoon with Game 2 of the series starting at 5 p.m. at UMHB; Game 3, if necessary, will follow Game 2.

If they accomplish this feat, it would be the program’s first appearance at state since winning it all in 2008.

And they’ll do it with a little Latin flavoring.

Admittedly, the players don’t really know or understand what’s being sung at times. But their love for Latin hip-hop is not about the words, it’s about the message they are creating by listening to it together.

It is about developing a sense of camaraderie and togetherness through a single unifying act, and for the Eagles baseball team that’s bouncing around to the beats.

Last week, Salado senior first baseman Bryce Martin took credit for starting the craze several weeks back when he randomly flipped to a Latin hip-hop station on the Internet radio app “Pandora.”

Although not everyone has embraced the Latin craze like Martin, it has helped the players stay loose and break up the tension of a long and grueling season.

Salado’s on-field motto all season has been “grind mode” — exemplifying the grind that it takes to accomplish lofty goals. The Eagles have had to battle back in nearly each game of the playoffs since an easy 12-2 thrashing of Anderson-Shiro in the area round.

Even on Wednesday, Salado trailed Troy 2-0 and needed a nine-run fourth inning to put the game away.

Yet united around a common goal, and with an occasional assist from beat-producing music of Latin hip-hop, the biggest trend these Eagles are embracing is winning.

A week from now, that could have them dancing on the mound at Dell Diamond holding up a state championship trophy.

Contact Alex Byington at alexb@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7566

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