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Tigers don't underestimate energy provided by backups in team's spirited dugout

OZARK'S AIDAN DAVIS and the Tigers celebrate their seven-run fourth inning Friday.
OZARK'S AIDAN DAVIS and the Tigers celebrate their seven-run fourth inning Friday.

Aidan Davis lived up to his first name, doing his part to aid in Ozark’s 11-6 home-opening victory versus Jefferson City Helias on Friday.

Davis helped make the Tigers’ dugout lively by coming up with his own version of a rally cap. Never mind turning his hat inside out, he began to stack hats on top of his own.  

The idea was a hit.

“Every time someone would get a hit, I would add a couple hats to keep the two-out (fourth-inning) rally going,” Davis said “I grabbed a couple kids' hats on the floor and people started to add on. It was kind of random. It was my way to hype up the guys more and keep them going.”

Ozark came back from a 3-0 deficit after two innings, thanks to a three-run third and a seven-run fourth.

“I think he had 20-25 hats (stacked),” center fielder Peyton Bullinger said.

“We were counting and kept adding to around 20, maybe 23,” Davis said.

Davis is likely to be man of many hats again.

“That was the first time he's done that,” Bullinger added. “Maybe it's our new tradition, maybe it's got to be.”

Ozark’s 3-0 start has been a team effort, with the Tigers’ backups making their presence felt by providing plenty of enthusiasm. It’s in contrast to Ozark’s past dugouts, which carried a businesslike persona.

“Our dugout has been a big part of our success,” third baseman Caden McGehee said. “It’s fueled us and given us the motivation that we need. When the diugout is going, the energy skyrockets and you have all the confidence in the world.”

"Every guy in there is hyped,” Bullinger said. “Maybe a guy is sitting for a game, but he's still hyped up everyone. Of course, that carries onto the field and help us get our energy going.”

Bullinger feels everyone cheering for each other is a reflection of the unity the Tigers have quickly formed.

“Our chemistry is amazing,” he said. “Young guys with old guys, we're all hanging out after practices and having team dinners that aren't even coordinated. This group is very tight.”