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Sports

May 1, 2014

Flood returns to the mound against Ringling

CENTRAL HIGH — No. 9 Central High baseball coach Jeff Jones is adopting a “we’ll deal with that when we get there” attitude regarding his rotation in the Class A regional Thursday.

The decision to start sophomore Joseph Flood shows that he is concerned about the first game versus No. 15 Ringling, and why shouldn’t he be? The Bronchos (24-8) are 1-1 versus the Blue Devils (17-6), though, the loss came in the second game of the season. If Central High can resurrect its performance from the 3-1 win on April 11, it would face the winner of No. 8 Navajo and Blair. Jones would love to win both and give himself two chances to get a state-tournament-berth-clinching win.

“We’ve decided to throw everything but the kitchen sink to try and win those first two,” Jones said. “Joseph is throwing the best for us right now, and we definitely respect Ringling.”

Flood has experienced success against Ringling. He started that April 11 win that came in the first round of the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament in Ringling. A unique aspect of that tournament is all the hitters used wooden bats.

That gave Flood an advantage he won’t have Thursday as metal bats are more powerful than wooden.

“I could actually have a bit more leeway instead of having to hit my corners on every single pitch,” Flood said.

Flood thinks he learned a lot from pitching against the Blue Devils. Combine that with his coach making him the go-to guy for the Bronchos and Flood enters Thursday with a lot of confidence.

“It’s going to help knowing their weaknesses,” Flood said. “It’s a good compliment to have your coach look at you as a guy who can go out there and dominate on the mound. It makes you feel a little bit more comfortable.”

Flood says it also feels good to have two pitchers, freshman Dylan Jones and sophomore Cooper Phillips, who can back him up if he struggles. All three of the main starters have experienced difficult times this season only to have one of their teammates pick them up. Flood said it’s like being in a group of brothers.

 

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