The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

July 13, 2014

Floyd’s bat sizzling in July

ENID, Okla. — Cole Floyd’s bat has been hotter than the 100-degree temperatures he and his Enid Majors teammates have been playing in the last two weeks.

Floyd’s batting average has gone up 100 points the last two weeks (.200 to .300) for the Majors, who will take a 34-12 record into the Connie Mack state tournament, which begins Wednesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

“I haven’t been doing anything different,’’ Floyd said. “I’ve just been staying back on the ball. Some of these kids aren’t throwing that hard. I’m not trying to hit it out of the park. I’ve just been trying to keep it in play and it’s working out for me.’’

Floyd said he was able to get in a rhythm once the Majors were playing on an every-day basis.

“Now that I’ve had a bunch of bats in a row, I think I can keep this streak going,’’ he said. “The ball looks like a beach ball when you get on a streak like this. My confidence is going through the roof. I feel I can go up there and be a lot more aggressive at the plate.’’

Floyd said he was “getting discouraged’’ at the low point of his slump, but his teammates were able to pick him up, and his demeanor didn’t change during the slow start, Majors assistant coach Butch Lingenfelter said.

“Cole is a winner,’’ Lingenfelter said. “He really tries hard to win. He puts as much pressure on himself to do that. The first thing you notice about Cole is he’s a vocal leader. He pats people on the rear if they need it and if they need a talking to, he lets them know.’’

Floyd is accustomed to high expectations following older brothers Zach and Seth to the Majors. Both played at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

“I know they expect me to close (as a reliever) like Zach and hit and field like Seth (a shortstop),’’ Floyd said. “There’s a little bit of pressure, but it’s all in the family. It’s competitive, and I like it. I’m the player I am today because they pushed me.’’

Floyd grew up as a shortstop but has “loved’’ the move to center following in the footsteps of one-time shortstops turned center fielders like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. His strong arm, he said, might have been better suited for center than short — one reason why Mantle made the move.

“What I love about center is you can get your arm go and throw it really hard, which is nice,’’ Floyd said.

What’s also nice is going from 11-26 in high school to 34-12 in Connie Mack.

“You never say never on this team,’’ Floyd said. “Even if we’re down and it’s the last inning, we feel somebody is going to get the big hit and pick us back up. That’s what I love about this team, we fight until the end.’’

Despite having players from a number of different towns and schools, he said the chemistry on the team was good.

“We all get along,’’ Floyd said. “Nobody fights. Everybody’s friends with everybody else.’’

He pointed out he’s in a better frame of mind to play in the summer because he’s totally focused on baseball. That should prepare him when he goes to Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa to play next spring.

“In high school, you see some young kids,’’ Floyd said. “Once you get up to that level, everybody is good. Everybody can pitch and spot up. That’s what I have to adjust to.’’

Floyd said playing at Tonkawa will allow him to go away forcollege without being too far from home. He’s excited about playing hometown NOC Enid  at David Allen.

“I wanted to get out of the house, but I want to come home often,’’ he said. “I love seeing family.’’

He’s confident about the state tournament, especially since it’s at home.

“We’re confident that we can play with anybody,’’ Floyd said. “I don’t think there’s another team in this tournament that has a better pitching staff than us. It doesn’t hurt to play at home.’’

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