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Auburn baseball seeking second baseball title in three years

Eagles are one of the best defensive teams in the state

RINER, Va. – It's a program that has started to build its own collection of unforgettable hits, so to speak, made up of three solid principles. 

"Hustle, awareness and mental toughness," said outfielder Keith Reed.

"If you do those three things it'll all work out and it has so far."

It has worked out to the tune of four consecutive Virginia High School League state tournament appearances, including a 2017 championship win for Auburn, its first in school history. 

"Most of these guys were on the JV team and had a great season," said head coach Eric Altizer.

"They were undefeated but it's kind of been their turn, and our seniors really stepped up to lead our program."
 
These one-time Eaglets from a few years back are now the hit makers in 2019 with a record of 23-3 entering the state semifinals. 

"We just all technically put in our hard work and take everything out on the field and give it our all," said pitcher Taylor Newcome. 

Auburn has won multiple games with double-digit runs but the team hangs its hat on defensive prowess to get the job done. 

"We've only had 19 errors in 25 games we've played. We have been so solid in the infield that it really gives our pitchers confidence to throw strikes. We just haven't hurt ourselves, we've made the other teams beat us," Altizer said.

With 5-of-7 spring sports teams having made state finals appearances for Auburn, the Eagles baseball team hopes to join them. 

"After we won the first one two years ago, that was, like, the most surreal moment ever and, like, being just two games away, it's a little nervous -- not going to lie. But we have a good feeling," Reed said. 

That good feeling: that they could once again hoist the VHSL Class 1 championship trophy.


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