Warriors prepare for Final Four

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2007

WILSON – Quiet confidence.

It’s a commodity most championship caliber teams possess and one that Lawrence Academy and Head Baseball Coach Robert Kravitz have.

“I feel good going into the game,” said Kravitz Wednesday morning, referring to Friday’s Final Four matchup with Greenfield. “We’re hitting the ball at the right time, playing good defense and getting good pitching.

“We know Greenfield has been playing well, too,” he added. “They are certainly no pushover.”

The Warriors have defeated Greenfield three times this season, sweeping a home-and-home series and adding a victory at the Louisburg Easter Tournament.

The closest of those games, a one-run victory for the Warriors, came in Wilson, the site of this Friday’s North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state championship tournament.

Fleming Stadium will provide a home-like atmosphere for Greenfield, but Kravitz isn’t concerned about that.

“It doesn’t concern me,” he said. “I think our fan support has been so good this year. I feel like we’ll have enough fans there to make it feel like a home game for us too.”

That Final Four matchup is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Warriors, who just completed their third consecutive Tarheel Independent Conference regular-season and tournament championships under Kravitz, have another goal still to achieve.

Under his tutelage, the Warriors have gone to the state championship series twice, coming up just short in both state finals.

“I definitely take a lot of pride in what we do as coaches,” Kravitz said. “I’m lucky to have Tom Hoggard and Truitt Johnston as my assistant coaches.

“Tom has been with me for two years and is a big component for us,” he continued. “Adding Truitt this year, I just don’t think we’d be where we are without them.”

He continued, “I think because of our past success, it’s important for us to get there. I’ve been spoiled my first two years and that has caused me to set a high standard.

“The guys have bought into that too,” he continued. “They feel like anything short of a state championship appearance is a failure, so that’s good.”

The burden of getting the Warriors there will fall to either Jonathan Brantley or Dillon Ralph. Both pitchers are 3-0 on the season and Kravitz said he feels good about either one starting for him on Friday.

Offensively, the coach said he couldn’t pick out one or two who would need to be productive.

“In our lineup, everyone in the batting order is hitting over .300 and the first five are hitting over .400,” he said. “We have a potent offensive attack; it’s just a matter of getting hits in key situations rather than a hit here and a hit there.

“We’ve done that lately,” he added. “We just want to continue it.”

If the Warriors can get by Greenfield, they will begin play in the state championship series at 7 p.m. Friday evening. The best-of-three series will continue Saturday at 11 a.m. and then a deciding 2 p.m. contest will be played if necessary.