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Cougars chugging along to final four

NAPLES, Fla.– For the second time since 2018, the Barron Collier baseball team is back in the state final four. The team could have a single emoji to thank for their recent hot streak.

Last Wednesday the Barron Collier baseball team entered the bottom of the seventh down 2-0 with their season on the brink of collapsing.

“To be honest with you, I can say it now what was going through my head was what am I going to say to these guys after this game,” Barron Collier Head Coach Charlie Maurer said.

Senior second basemen Marcus O’Malley said, “I was just thinking ‘this cannot be it right here’.”

The quarterfinal game was molded after their up and down season when the cougars were knocked down but not out.

The team advanced to the final four on a wild pitch after scoring three in the final inning.

“It was still going through our minds after the game too like what just happened,” Senior pitcher Jacob Marlow said.

The cougars took their lumps early this season and were sitting at 7-10 with the postseason a far off goal.

“When we were 7-10 I was just trying to figure out how to win a game,” Coach Maurer said. But with one pep-talk it all changed.

“We were in a meeting when we were 7-10 and I basically told the guys when we leave this locker room today for practice the train is leaving the station. So either get on it or leave,” Coach Maurer said.

Everyone bought their ticket and got on board. What followed was a 14-game winning streak powered by a train emoji.

“We won, and then the next game we won, and then all of a sudden I happen to tweet a train emoji and the guys started labeling each win as a train, and then it just evolved from there,” Coach Maurer said.

14 train emojis later it has gone from a fun social media celebration to the teams identity.

“Putting the trains in there just got us all hyped up and ready to play more baseball,” Marlow said.

Two wins from their first state title since 1997, it’s best to get off the tracks cause the train is coming.

“It is funny when we started the streak, I stopped all my inspirational speeches and I turned it into my motto every game is just win,” Coach Maurer said.

Barron Collier takes the diamond at Hammond stadium tomorrow at 1:00 PM.

The post Cougars chugging along to final four appeared first on NBC2 News.

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