Cardinals Kaup shuts down Louisburg
Easy win follows season’s first loss
The Eudora Cardinals bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 9-3 victory Monday over Frontier League rival Louisburg.
It was a nice bounce-back game for senior hurler Joe Kaup as well.
Kaup had a rough outing on Thursday against Spring Hill, giving up five runs and five walks in just an inning and a third.
His coach knew exactly what to do for Monday's game.
"I knew that the best thing to do was to put Joe back on the mound," coach Dirk Kinney said. "He responded by throwing strikes."
Kaup got back on track by pitching five innings for his second win of the season.
The right-hander had the help of the Eudora bats as the visitors jumped on the Wildcats early by gaining a 7-0 lead after the second inning, thanks in large part to junior second baseman Miles Cleveland.
"Miles just gets it rolling for us," Kinney said. "He's an outstanding lead-off hitter."
Cleveland went three-for-five for the game.
The Cardinals relied a lot on small-ball tactics in the early going, including three bunts for base hits.
"We played a good game tonight," Kinney said. "We played small ball. We ran the bases well, and got up on them early."
Although the Cardinals played well all around, the head coach took something bigger from Monday's contest.
"My biggest concern was about us bouncing back," Kinney said. "We responded well. We found the holes and took advantage of opportunities. That was something that we couldn't do on Thursday."
Junior Mark Abel had his second multiple-hit game in a row, going two-for-three. Senior Paul Smith went three-for-four.
The Spring Hill Broncos came to town Thursday and gave the Cardinals baseball squad its first defeat 9-4.
It was one of the match-ups that Kinney had circled on the schedule.
"Spring Hill is one of the top teams in the league," Kinney said. "We thought this would be a good test for us."
After a scoreless first inning, the Broncos became the beneficiaries of five second-inning walks as Kaup struggled to find the strike zone. The visitors capitalized by grabbing a quick 5-0 lead.
Senior left-hander Rod Evinger came on in relief and pitched effectively, going four and two-thirds innings with eight strike outs.
"Rod was big for us," Kinney said. "He really came in and did a nice job when we needed him."
Spring Hill added two runs in the third inning to stretch the lead to 7-0, before the Cardinals got on the board in the fourth on an RBI single by junior center fielder Mark Abel.
Down 7-1, the Cardinals mounted a small charge in the home half of the fifth.
After senior catcher Cole Massey reached on an error by the Spring Hill right fielder, Kyle Brouhard reached on a fielder's choice. On that play, Massey was seemingly dead in the water in a rundown, but managed to slide safely back to second to get an otherwise quiet crowd back into the game. Evinger grounded to second to move both Massey and Brouhard up a base, which gave Kaup a chance to redeem himself from the earlier pitching woes.
He came through big.
The senior laced a single to right field that plated both runs and cut the Spring Hill lead to 7-3.
The Cardinals had their first momentum of the game and looked to add more.
Mark Abel and Cleveland delivered back-to-back singles to load the bases. Luke Abel then cracked what looked to be a single into center, but was cut off by the Broncos shortstop to force Cleveland at second.
The Broncos came up with single runs in the sixth and seventh to take any momentum right back and put the game out of reach.
"We came back and that was nice," Kinney said. "But when you leave 13 men on base you don't deserve to win. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had."
Luke Abel went two-for-three on the day with an RBI, while Kaup was charged with the loss and fell to 1-1 on the season.