CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The heartbreak of losing last year's Class 3A state title game still resonates in the minds of the London Pirates but they are using it in a positive way as a rallying cry to get back to the state.
"Last year we took that tough loss at state but we decided to do something about it," said Pirates pitcher Blayne Lyne. "We got bigger, stronger, faster and used that loss as motivation for this year so we can get back to Round Rock."
The Pirates had been ranked number one in the state in 3A all year long until Monday when they dropped to number three following a couple of district losses last week.
But the Pirates are using those two defeats as a wake-up call. "With that number one ranking, we had a target on our back and everyone was coming at us with their very best," said Pirates pitcher Kade Budd. "Moving to number three is kind of a slap in the face which we needed it and we have Bishop coming up tomorrow and it will motivate us to play better."
If the Pirates beat Bishop Tuesday night, they will claim the outright District 30-3A title.
A loss drops them to co-champs with Bishop and maybe even tri-champs defending on what Santa Gertrudis Academy does.
South Texas is baseball country and the Pirates compete in one of the toughest districts in the state.
"It's a good thing because we get so much great competition," said Pirates head coach Kevin Carr. "Playing them will make us better in the long run. When we come to the ballpark, we have to be ready to go at all times."