The Syrupmakers are playing with the postseason on their minds.
Cairo scored its seventh mercy rule win of the season in Friday’s 13-0 road rout of Albany.
The score, however, was not an indication of Cairo’s early start, coach Ron Best said. The Syrupmakers scored a run in each of the first four innings before bringing home nine in the final two.
“It took us a couple times to get through the order, but later on, we timed their pitcher better and seemed to have better at bats,” Best said. “And when you’ve got Tyler [Dalton] pitching as well as he was and our guys playing good defense, your offense can sometimes wait.”
Speaking of, Dalton pitched a complete game shutout while allowing just three hits. The defense behind him accounted for no errors.
Best said the pretext for Cairo’s mid-to-late season success has been identity awareness.
“We’re not an offensive juggernaut and we know that,” Best said. “[Defense] is something we work on constantly. ... We try to focus on that more because we know we’re not going to score nine or ten runs a game.
“It’s something we’ve emphasized particularly with this team this year, and they’ve bought in.”
Take away a last-minute loss to Thomas County Central on Wednesday, and Cairo is riding a four-game win streak.
The Syrupmakers have just five games remaining this season, including a pair of tilts against the top seeds in the region: Crisp County and Worth County.
Though the No. 1 seed for the state tournament is unlikely, Cairo (10-11, 9-2) has a very good chance of stealing away the second spot from Worth.
“We’re kind of on a road to a showdown,” Best said of the April 22 match-up, which will be at home. “That’s our goal and we’re going to keep working toward it.”