Durant baseball has been on a bit of a tear since losing 10-2 April 1, at Strawberry Crest, 10-2. The Cougars followed up an 11-4 beatdown on Tampa Bay Tech with a 10-0 shutout of Plant City April 4, caught on television by Bright House Sports Network. Although many Cougars had a great day, it was arguably Sims — who went 3-for-5 with three runs, two RBI and a double — that turned in the best individual performance.
You all went out to Plant City on Friday, got on TV and played pretty well. What were you feeling out there?
We were pretty confident. We beat them the first time we played them — here — and it was a big game. We knew that if we won that, we’d clinch the district, so it was a pretty big deal. We had (Ryan) Barfield on the mound; we knew he was going to come out and throw strikes. We just had to hit. And, that’s what we went out there and did.
Did being on TV affect you guys in any way? More confidence, or less, than usual?
We were all pretty much used to it from last year, being in states. We don’t mind the cameras; we just go out there and play like we do every day. Having the cameras out there is just a bonus. We just do what we’re supposed to do.
You had a pretty great day in the plate. What was your approach?
It was just depending on the situation. If I had a runner in scoring position, I was trying to score the runner. Whatever I can do to help the team win. But, I was just looking for pitches I could drive, and that’s what I got.
The season is almost over, district play is over, and Durant’s in a good position right now. How are you going to close out and transition to the playoffs?
We’re looking to close out strong. We obviously want to win, and we want to go on a roll coming into districts. We can come in hot, win that first game after the first-round bye, and go on to win that district championship.
What are some of your hobbies outside of baseball?
Hanging out with the team. We have really good team chemistry here, because we all hang out. We do crazy stuff. Go fishing, hang out. … a bunch of crazy stuff. We play Xbox, “Call of Duty.”
Tell me about fishing.
We’ve got a few fishing spots. Can’t reveal the location, though — it’s pretty top-secret.
Who catches the most fish, out of everyone on the team?
Me. Absolutely me. Second-most, we’ll go with Luke (Heyer) or Jake Sullivan. Garrett Wright: He’s all talk.
If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?
Probably super strength, to make me hit the ball farther.