It also should assuage any worries of the Ram faithful that Barrick said his team has had a solid week in practice preparing for the Vernon game.
"We've had some pretty good workouts this week," he said. "We had a really good day hitting the ball, [Wednesday]. Tuesday, we had a good defensive workout, too. The kids seem to be focused and I think they're ready to go."
Barrick said the plan is for sophomore Braxton Allen to start on the hill against the Lions. As the Rams’ best pitcher in many statistical categories – including a team-best 1.68 ERA, 55 strikeouts and a 6-1 record – Allen presents an arm that can eat innings and keep the Lions' offense grounded while the Rams' bats go to work.
However, the fact that the Rams will have a week off before their next game in the event of a victory means that Barrick has no qualms about using as many pitchers as necessary to secure a win.
Pitchers such as seniors Chris Rapp and Justyn Lee, junior Cameron Bullock and sophomore McCain Mason are all rested and could easily make relief appearances if called upon.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to win the game," Barrick said. "[Allen] is going to go as long as he can and, if we need to, everybody's available to come out in relief. If we have to, we'll use everybody. We're going to try to keep them off balance."
On the offensive end, Barrick said he hopes some strong batting practices will carry over into the game so that the Rams can jump on top of Vernon early and crush any hopes of an upset.
"Offensively, we've got to be able to create momentum with base hits, stealing and running and score some points," he said. "I think if we can get up on them early, things will go good for us."
The winner of Mineral Wells and Vernon can expect to play the winner between Alvarado and Burnet in the area round of the UIL Class 3A baseball playoffs.