By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman High coach Pete Sangirardi stresses at every opportunity that his ballclub had come a very long way from last season, his first at the helm. He also says that his team has the weapons to be dangerous come regionals if they put it all together.
The trouble for NHS is that doing so has been rare for the Tigers (7-9). They’ve teetered around .500 all season and have a number of kinks thrown into the schedule due to cancellations. They’ve also suffered five one-run losses on the season.
“It’s like, ‘what’s it going to take to get us going?’” Sangirardi said. “We haven’t had our pitching, hitting and fielding all together in the same game yet. We’re so much better than we were a year ago, but we’re still climbing the ladder.”
The Tigers have played enough top-tier teams tight, including No. 8 Norman North, that it’s clear they have the talent to make a run. But while the pitching staff has carried the Tigers through much of the season, the hitting hasn’t kept pace. The Tigers managed just four hits and committed a costly error in Tuesday’s loss 4-3 to Edmond Memorial, another one-run game in what has become a common theme for NHS.
But the Tigers do have the ability to get hot at the plate. They’ve scored at least five runs in eight games and had won three of four before going on the current three-game skid.
With his team so close to getting over the hump, Sangirardi said it won’t take much for the Tigers to get on a roll in the last month of the season. But the challenge for the Tigers is to find that spark.
“We’re not being consistent, but we’re going to be dangerous once we put all three phases of the game together,” Sangirardi said. “Right now they’re trying so hard and pressing so much to try and find that, and I think that’s our biggest problem right now. We’re pressing way too much and not letting the game come to us.”
With a handful of games left, including a pair of make-up district contests with Putnam City North, Sangirardi is looking for some consistency throughout games. If the Tigers can string together a few victories, he said they’re ready to make a late-season charge.
“We’ve just got to try and find a way to get bit of a streak going and gain some confidence,” he said. “They have the talent to make that happen, but we just need to find a way to get a few wins to get going.”
Follow me @Chosler88
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.