3/8/2013 6:00:00 AM Tigers' Black, Blue teams switch places
Kingman Academy Blue’s Ty Sherwood reacts after getting called out for stealing during a game against KAHS Black last April. Unlike previous years, the Blue team will be made up of younger players while the Black team will be made up of older players.
KINGMAN - Two years ago, Kingman Academy baseball coach Bill McCord decided to add another team in order to give his kids more playing time.
He split his team in two: KAHS Blue had mostly seniors and juniors, and KAHS Black had freshman and sophomore players.
In the years since, the Black team has gone on to win the 3A Charter Athletic Association championship twice, beating the Blue team on both occasions - including upsetting the older team in 2011 by handing them their only defeat of the year.
This year, the roles will be reversed. The Blue team will be the underdog going up against its older and wiser bigger brother, KAHS Black.
"We have the older team and the younger team," McCord said. "I did the split a little differently this year and it's back to what it was two years ago."
Josh Allen will be the ace of the Blue pitching staff that will include Bailey Rust, Jared Griffith and Cody Quick.
Allen, a sophomore, had a 3.23 ERA and struck out eight while pitching for the Black team last year.
"Josh Allen throws hard. He's a sophomore and I'm going to rely on him a lot," McCord said. "He's probably going to throw harder then what most of the teams are accustomed to seeing."
Allen is expected to get the start Saturday when the Blue team opens the season at noon with a doubleheader against Southpointe.
"This group of young kids is starting to come around," McCord said. "When they get it, they are going to be good."
New this year is the CAA's decision to take the top four teams to the state tournament in May. The other thing new this year will be one conference of nine teams instead of last year's two-conference format.
While Black will be the team to beat in the state, other teams that could give the Tigers some stiff competition include EVAC, Heritage and possibly Southpointe, which opened the season Monday with a 17-1 win over American Leadership.
"I have positive expectations of them," McCord said of Blue. "They are young. They have to build some confidence and hopefully we can get a good start."