BELTON — Belton head coach Eddie Cornblum wants his team to believe it can beat anyone.
Only of late, the Tigers (7-5) have actually been playing like they can beat anybody.
After a win against Highland Park a week earlier, Belton added quality wins this past weekend against Lake Travis, Round Rock Stony Point, Lewisville and No. 2 Round Rock in the John Langerhans Tournament in Austin.
“And that’s what we’re trying to get into them,” Cornblum said, “is that you can be as good as you want to be and as good as you prepare.”
Prepare is exactly what Cornblum and his staff are doing as Belton faces these perennial powers.
And even the losses — like a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Austin Westwood and a 9-5 loss to Austin Westlake in the Langerhans Tournament — have been beneficial to the Tigers.
“We’re seeing how we can play,” Cornblum said. “We’re also seeing how we respond after a tough loss.”
What else the Tigers have learned, or what else has been reinforced, is that they are a talented bunch.
Cornblum praised the play of Mark Herrington and Walker Winders on defense and the hitting of Houston signee Chase Cryer and Shane Stafford.
“He had a great weekend last weekend,” Cornblum said of Stafford. “He was 5 for 9 (with) a double, a home run, eight RBIs.”
And defending District 8-5A MVP and TCU signee pitcher Jared Janczak has been every bit as good as advertised thus far, racking up 27 total strikeouts in wins against Highland Park and Lake Travis.
But as good as Belton has looked in this young season, Cornblum wants them to look this good — good enough to beat anybody — when the games count in the district standings and beyond that.
“And the way you do that is to make sure you find out who can do what,” Cornblum said, “who’s successful on the mound in situations and who can you rely on at the plate in situations.”