Baseball blowout earns first win
After scoring just one run in their first three games, the Cardinals exploded for 19 in game four and picked up their first victory of the year.
Eudora struggled to find itself in two games against Gardner Edgerton on Thursday and game one against Paola Tuesday, but in game two everything fell into place.
"The problem we were having in the first three games is that we have so many good kids that want to do so well that we were pressing," said coach Shaun Edmondson. "One guy wouldn't get a hit so the next guy tried too hard to get a hit and it went on and on and on. Now I think everyone realizes that they don't have to put everything on themselves, a lot of other guys can step up and do things.
"That's what happened in the second game, everyone did their part."
In game one against Paola, Eudora senior pitcher Brian White was dealing aces through six but allowed two runs in the top of the seventh and Eudora couldn't answer.
"He's thrown two games so far and he's been absolutely incredible both outings. He should be 2-0, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way," Edmondson said.
The Cardinals had a chance to respond to the Panthers' two-run seventh inning with a rally of their own, but after loading the bases with only one out the Cards grounded out and struck out to end the game.
"Everyone wanted to come up with the big hit or the big defensive play and for whatever reason it just didn't happen in that game," Edmondson said.
Those were the same problems that Eudora faced on Tuesday night when it dropped a pair of games to Gardner Edgerton, 5-1 and 5-0.
"They capitalized on our mistakes, they didn't walk as many guys and they didn't make as many errors," said senior outfielder Matthew Abel. "I don't think all of us were ready to go."
The Cardinals didn't look ready to go again on Tuesday until the second game started and the floodgates opened wide.
"(Baseball) is a game of momentum a lot of times, so when things start going your way it can escalate quickly," Edmondson said. "We probably could have scored a lot more than 19 runs."
Edmondson was looking to steal a base nearly every time he had a runner, and while that paid off with 12 stolen bases in the second game, it cost his team a run in game one. In the fourth inning with only one out and a runner on second, the Paola shortstop mishandled a hit and Edmondson, as third base coach, sent his runner around to the plate where he was tagged out.
"That's the style of baseball we're going to play, we're going to be super aggressive," said Edmondson. "We're going to make guys make plays on us. It may look stupid in hindsight but I like that he ran there and we'll keep pressing the issue."
As the runs piled up it was as if a weight was being lifted off the shoulders of every player as they crossed the plate.
"It's a relief more than anything," Edmondson added. "I never really questioned us as a team but you could see it in the kids' eyes a little bit. The swagger was definitely back in the second game."
In game two, every starter scored and Abel led the Cardinals with four runs, three RBIs and three steals. That kind of production helped Eudora find enjoyment in the game again.
"When things are going well it's a lot more fun and it's easier to play. When nothing is going right, everyone wants to be that guy who gets it started and sometimes you try to do too much," Abel said. "Everyone's definitely excited right now and we just need to build off of this and keep getting better."
Eudora travels to Garnett on Saturday for a noon game with Anderson County.