A championship could be on the way to Phenix City this week as the Phenix City Crawdads play for the Sunbelt summer league baseball championship this week.
To be a team made up of a bunch of guys who have mostly never played together, the Phenix City Crawdads have elevated their game in recent weeks, enough to go to the championship series for the second year in a row, even though it didn’t seem like it was happen at the beginning of the summer.
“We actually started out a little rough. We didn’t mesh well to begin with. As we played and kids got to know each other, we gelled. We are really excited about this opportunity. It’s our second year in the league and second year in the championship and it just so happens we are playing the same team we played last year,” said Crawdads head coach Mike Getkin.
To get to the championship, they had to mesh quickly, and they did that by playing loose, on and off the field.
“The pranks that go on, the conversations in the van, the things that go on in the dugout are just priceless. I think that is what helps us with success is that we do play a little loose. When time comes to play and crunch comes around, they know how to play,” said Getkin.
So when they saw a potential date with the Atlanta Crackers, the league’s defending champions, the Crawdads buckled down.
“They realized this about two weeks ago that this was within reach, stepped up their play a little bit. Pitching has come around, hitting has come around. They are totally focused on what is going on the next three days,” Getkin said.
Regardless of what happens over this series, everybody loves a championship contender, and it’s making a difference.
“I think the more success we have, I think the more interest we will have from kids in surrounding areas. I think we’ll be bombarded next year with kids wanting to play on the Crawdads,” said Getkin.
Game one of the series is Tuesday at Norcross High School. Game two of the series is Wednesday in Phenix City at Glenwood School.