Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lackluster effort finally catches up to Cardinals

April 12, 2007

Things were going well for the Eudora baseball team Monday night against Louisburg. After a scoreless, but fast, first three innings, senior Kent Swanson smacked a line drive to right field for a single. Meanwhile, junior Matthew Abel bolted toward home, scoring the first run of the game.

"I thought that would get us rolling," coach Dirk Kinney said. "It was a nice hit and helped us to get on top."

And Eudora did stay on top, until Louisburg scored a run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth. When all was said and done, the Cardinals had their first loss of the season, a 4-1 letdown at Louisburg.

Kinney said the problem against Louisburg was not so much the Cardinals' offensive game, but the way they played defense.

"We weren't very good defensively," Kinney said. "If you can't field and block baseballs, you can't win games. Period. We didn't field and we didn't block."

In the fifth inning, the Eudora defensive game was plagued with problems, as it racked up two errors and two passed balls that amounted to the Wildcats' first run. In the sixth inning, Eudora again added another notch in its error belt that allowed Louisburg a run.

The Cardinal loss was not from a lack of physical effort, though. Kinney said Eudora did not mentally prepare itself to take advantage of Louisburg's errors and disadvantages. He said the loss was the result of poor mental preparation.

"Our physical effort was fine, but the mental part of the game was unacceptable," Kinney said.

Complacency was again a theme this week, Kinney said. Like the game against Prairie View last week, Eudora made a run and then did not do anything else. Unlike the Prairie View game, this time it cost the Cardinals a win.

The unfortunate aspect of the loss and the team's complacency in the latter innings, Kinney said, was that it came during a well-pitched game by junior Kelson Boyer.

"Kelson did a nice job pitching," Kinney said. "He threw it well enough to win the game, that's for sure. But once we got up 1-0, then we got complacent."

Boyer pitched six innings and had 13 strikeouts. He only walked one player and gave up five base hits.

Another key player of the game was Mike Ortega, who went 2-for-3 batting.

This week was not a complete loss, though. Eudora handily shut out Spring Hill 9-0 Thursday in Eudora.

But regardless of that win, Kinney said the Louisburg game clearly defined what his team was going to be working on in the coming practices.

"I've said from the get-go that pitching and defense are going to win us games," Kinney said. "Our defense was absolutely discouraging today. We go through hundreds of ground balls every day of practice. We're just going to have to continue doing that."

Eudora is scheduled to play a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Gardner Edgerton before taking a week-long break.

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