Northwest Cabarrus baseball coach Joe Hubbard doesn't like to pressure his team. He only wants his Trojans to play their hardest.
"If our best is not good enough, then that's how it is," he said. "That's baseball."
That style of coaching might be working for the Trojans, as they're wrapping up their season in an impressive way.
After starting the season 8-8, the team only lost one more game - a non-conference game against Hopewell - during the rest of the regular season.
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The Trojans went on to win not only the South Piedmont Conference title, but also the conference championship, making it further into the 3A playoffs than any other Cabarrus team.
Hubbard said the team got off to a rough start after playing some quality teams.
"We didn't do ourselves any favors in the pre-season," he said. "The better the team you're going to play, the better they're going to make you - whether you win or lose."
But the Trojans didn't want to be remembered as just an average team. Hubbard said that about halfway through the season, the team got together and decided that ordinary wasn't good enough for them.
The team had won 10 games in a row going into last week's fourth round playoff game at East Rowan.
He said the team's success was due to their character.
"It's a testimony to the kids in that locker room who have sacrificed to achieve team goals," said Hubbard.
The team has been led offensively by catcher Jonathan Wallace and the Seager brothers - Corey, a sophomore, and Justin, a senior.
The brothers give the Trojans a strong middle - Corey plays second base while his brother plays shortstop. They are the younger brothers of former Northwest Cabarrus star Justin Seager.
Arguably the team's most impressive playoff win came against Charlotte Catholic, who was riding a 20-game winning-streak, in the third round.
Although offense has been huge in Northwest's deep playoff run, pitching might have played a bigger role. The team has been getting some quality performances by junior lefty Rob Bain and senior Taylor West.
Hubbard, whose team finished runner-up in the 2005 3A state playoffs, said he tries to prepare his teams in the playoffs the same as the rest of the season, although he tries to give his players more time off to keep them fresh. But there's always the thought of an inevitable end of the season in the back of his mind.
"During the regular season, you know there's more - another practice, another game," he said. "If you lose, you just get to wash your uniforms up and start thinking about next year."
Hubbard's team loses six seniors to graduation, including Justin Seager, who will play next year at UNC Charlotte, and West.
"Every time you're going to lose leadership like that, you're going to hurt," said Hubbard.
But the coach still has high hopes. In addition to bringing back all-conference second baseman Corey Seager and other key players next year, the team will also get a crop of junior varsity players that won their conference this year.
"Each year, you have to adjust your philosophy to their personalities. It's fun for a coach."