CAIRO — A tough first-round opponent awaits the Cairo Syrupmakers in the Class AAAA playoffs on Wednesday.
The Syrupmakers must overcome a Perry Panthers team that finished 20-6 and the No. 2 seed in Region 4. What really concerns Cairo coach Chad Parkerson, though, is the Panthers’ talent on the mound. Perry yielded just 74 runs during the regular season while recording nine shutouts.
“Perry’s a good team. We’re going to need to play well,” Parkerson said. “They’ve got some good arms. Everything I’ve heard, they’ve got a pretty deep staff. They’re aggressive on the bases. Just a well coached, really good team. Their record shows it. We’re going to need to play well.”
The Syrupmakers enter the postseason 18-8, having won four straight last week. That followed a stretch in which they lost five of six. Cairo squeaked by North Florida Christian 2-1, swept Monroe in a doubleheader by a combined 30-0 score and then battered Worth County 13-3 in the regular season finale.
“We had a big win over North Florida Christian. They’re good,” Parkerson said. “We had senior night with Worth. We played really well. That was one of our better offensive nights. Hopefully, we can continue that. You know as well as I do, offensive success is contagious. Hopefully, we can all keep that rolling.”
The secret to the Syrupmakers’ success this postseason, though, will rest on its ability to throw strikes and play mistake free. When Cairo’s struggled this year, walks and errors were big reasons why.
“When we throw and catch at a high level, on the mound and in the field, we have a chance to win games. That’s what we need to do,” Parkerson said. “You just want teams to earn everything. If we can go out there and throw strikes and make plays, that’s when we’re at our best.”
The best-out-of-3 series will begin Wednesday in Perry with a doubleheader, starting at 4:30 p.m. If necessary, game 3 will be held on Thursday at 3 p.m.